Experts predict that the metaverse will affect our mental health

Fortunately, mental health is more relevant and a topic that is under scrutiny. As a result, experts have studied the impact of Zuckerberg’s plans for the metaverse on individuals.

Opinions are not unanimous and the debate over whether this effect can be positive or negative.

As we know, Metaverse is intended to be an identical virtual world to the one we live in-in fact, Meta describes it as the “next evolution of social relationships”. So, if mental health is already an issue of late, experts are debating its impact on the new reality developed by many technology companies, such as Microsoft, Nvidia and Apple.

Although the metaverse seems like a new idea, the fact is that there are those who think it already exists, especially in the gambling industry. health of individuals, considering others fully engaged in the online world.

While there are experts who believe that Metaverse will integrate into people’s lives in a natural way, others say the concept is both groundbreaking and incomprehensible, so it may present some challenges.

Experts share the impact of the metaverse on mental health

Currently, according to an article published in Psychology Today, there is scientific evidence linking technology overuse to a variety of mental problems, such as depression and paranoia, for example. In addition, spending a lot of time connected digitally can lead to a preference for this world rather than reality.

For Rachel Kowert, research director at Take This, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the mental health of the video game community, this preference can “negatively affect our ability to participate in the non-virtual life, self -confidence or submission ”. , or social anxiety ”. Along the same lines, Jeremy Bailenson, founder of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, believes there are accompanying challenges when spending a lot of time “in a world where everything is perfect, beautiful and ideal”.

Instead, Nick Allen, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, argues that the question is not how much time is spent in the metaverse, but whether that time, whatever it is, has a positive impact. of the mental health of individuals.

A young person who may be LGBT and looking for an online context where they can feel social support – we predict that this will benefit their mental health.

On the other hand, if the use of metaverse technologies replaces non -online behaviors that are healthy and support mental health, such as proper exercise, engaging in real relationships, healthy sleep, time spent naturally environments, then it can be harmful. .

Allen explained.

Nick Allen, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon

In fact, experts have raised many questions and constructed many scenarios to understand the possible impact of the metaverse on users ’mental health.

For example, Daria Kuss, head of the cyberpsychology research group at Nottingham Trent University, says that “we know that particular formats of psychotherapy, namely virtual reality exposure therapy, can be tools imagined in helping people with different phobias ”. . According to him, issues such as depression, psychosis, substance abuse, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder can be addressed in the metaverse. In fact, it allows individuals to deal with a stimulus, in a safe and controlled space and slowly.

Daria Kuss, Head of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at Nottingham Trent University

Daria Kuss, Head of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at Nottingham Trent University

Like Kuss, some experts believe that the metaverse can act as a liberating agent, positively affecting mental health. Moreover, Peter Etchells, professor of psychology and communication science at the University of Bath Spa, reminds us that the metaverse can be “a huge force for good” in the sense that it keeps people connected, if it ethically checked.

In the future, and as the metaverse progresses, specialists will have the opportunity to study its true impact, knowing how it can harm or benefit the mental health of individuals.

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