If used improperly, the metaverse could be more divisive than social media and an insidious threat to society and even reality itself.
- Social media manipulates our reality by filtering what we are allowed (or not allowed) to see.
- We live in dangerous times because too many people use social media to disseminate untruths and promote division.
- Augmented reality and the metaverse have the potential to amplify these dangers to incomprehensible levels.
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At its core, augmented reality (AR) and the metaverse are media technologies that aim to present content in the most natural form possible — by seamlessly integrating simulated sights, sounds, and even feelings into our perception of the real world around us. This means AR, more than any form of media to date, has the potential to alter our sense of reality, distorting how we interpret our direct daily experiences. In an augmented world, simply walking down the street will become a wild amalgamation of the physical and the virtual, merged so convincingly that the boundaries will disappear in our minds. Our surroundings will become filled with persons, places, objects, and activities that don’t actually exist, and yet they will seem deeply authentic to us.