The metaverse is being advertised as a technology that allows users to create their own realities. However, it will also allow the behavioral modification techniques currently used in social media to become far more effective, which may lead to what the father of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, calls “the ultimate Skinner box.”
Boyd Collins has thirty years of experience building web applications and is the author of numerous articles on how to free ourselves from social media addiction. He will describe the metaverse and the type of human being it is designed to produce. The tech giants are spending many billions on the transition from social media to the embodied internet, an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds that can be customized according to user requirements. However, as with social media, it is not the platform, but the user, that is the product. The platform reduces the human being to a collection of psychological drives and removes the “I”, the “authentic self” from its center. In the metaverse, the inner self is treated as a neurological illusion which can be manipulated in order to drive user engagement.