Wendy’s View – The Technology Enabled Future
Virtual Reality – How will it impact us?
Recently I stayed over at a friend’s house and we watched a movie ‘The Shining’ by Jack Nicolson. It was a classic horror movie which I had seen years ago. However, this time I found the pace of the movie to be quite slow. I don’t remember feeling that way the first time I watched the movie. Every scene was very well acted and the director took his time setting up the story but part of me couldn’t help thinking ‘hurry up, just move it along…’. It got me wonder why I didn’t appreciate the movie as I used to. Is it because we are so information overloaded that we have neither time nor attention for the details; and we expect everything to be fast paced and action oriented? The traditional way of storytelling seems so yesterday that it does not belong in the new digital age…A few days after this experience, I had a meeting with a colleague about social media marketing. She told me one big issue with social media was the lack of authenticity. Every photo uploaded has been filtered and doctored to the extent that everyone just looks perfect all the time. I was actually shocked at the disclosure and it occurred to me that it must be exhausting for the people who are constantly in front of their cell phone cameras and need to look perfect all the time. It also must be depressing for those who wish their lives are like the ones they seen on Instagram!
Maybe virtual reality in this case can help us retreat a little from this non-stop digital world. It is kind of an oxymoron to be escaping to a digitally created virtual world just to have a little peace and quiet. The fact is, if you can be anyone you want to be, assuming any look & feel, then you don’t have to envy someone else who always look perfect (but probably doesn’t feel that way). You don’t have to carry your disability with you into this virtual reality you created, or created for you. You don’t have to be hurried in this world, you can roam around and explore the world with your virtual companion (your Spock, or in my case, my Neo), and choose who you want to hang out with. The classic jocks vs. nerds relationship is out the window since physical limitation does not exist in the virtual world.
Of course, technology is just an enabler, how we use technology to make our lives better (or worse) really depends on how the technology is implemented and marketed. Same with VR, it is a fun way to experience the world for those who otherwise will have no way or means to see the world. However, if not careful, one may never want to leave…Today, more and more millennials are playing video games for longer periods of time. Just imagine this scenario, you are able to immerse yourself completely in this game world and here you are the hero, adored and hurrahed; will you ever want to leave and can you really tell reality from virtual reality?
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