In the Metaverse, the successor to the Internet, we will soon be living and working in a digital country. It seems like a nerd thing, but we may already be in the middle without realizing it. Meanwhile, all our movements are stored in the cloud. Will our lives be completely digital? What will it mean to be human in the future? On VPRO Backlight: Metaleven including writer Dave Eggers and the CEO of Gorillas.
Nicky orders everything online © Pim Hawinkels / VPRO Backlight
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg launched the Metaverse, the successor to the Internet. With the glasses on, we will soon be able to live and work in a parallel digital universe. Facebook becomes Meta and Zuckerberg pumps in a few extra billions. But the Metaverse does not belong to Zuckerberg, he is just one of many players. The big fashion brands sell their clothes there, houses, land and estates are sold and the prices of digital art, the so-called NFTs, rise to all-time highs. The online universe for which we no longer have to leave home; we bought an avatar there and paid with crypto.
It seems like internet nerd stuff, but if you look around you will see that, without realizing it, we are already in the middle. We order our clothes online, we don’t go outside until our app says it’s not raining and there’s no code orange, the route planner takes us from A to B. We monitor our fitness with our pedometer and diet apps. We text more often than we call and adjust our images by placing filters over our faces.
At the same time, we believe that we are in the middle of life, thanks to the laptop and always in contact with the rest of the world. But we also turn off more often, looking at our phones when we move. On the street, on the train, we don’t look up or down and rarely have a conversation with a stranger. Tinder for love is an almost old-fashioned and perfectly normal concept, that’s how we meet our partner, controlled by an algorithm. Internet porn has become commonplace and having sex online might as well.
Everything serves convenience and because we want to be served, we descend further and further into the Metaverse. Companies like Gorilla understand the desire for instant gratification and are responding by giving us the ability to instantly get the food we want. Four parties are now competing for the market, it is not clear which service will win. In any case, it is here to stay, after all, going to the supermarket oneself costs time and time is money and it is becoming more and more valuable for modern people. The government also embraces the digital world and more or less requires its citizens to always be available, after all, if something happens, we must be able to read the NL Alert.
How protected are we as humans in this digital world? What does this mean for the future? Our lives will be completely digital. Do we lose confidence in our own abilities and what will it mean to be Human in the future?
On VPRO Backlight a world where everything is transparent, secrets equal lies. Where the forests and parks where there are no cameras are scary, because apparently it is not safe there. Welcome to the world where we only travel behind our computer with VR glasses to combat climate change. Welcome to a world where everything is connected.
VPRO Backlight consultation, among others: the CEO of Gorillas, Kağan Sümer, the employees of the dating app Breeze, the director of PX Security, J. Wynne, and the author of The circle and the eachDave Eggers.
Directed by: Britta Hosman
Research: Henneke Hagen, Keshia Hederman
Editing: Tim van der Maden
Producer: Marie Schutgens
Camera: Pim Hawinkels, Christian Trialoff
Sound: Mark Witte, Jillis Schriel
Final editing: Doke Romeijn and Geert Rozinga
VPRO Backlight: Metaleven, Monday, February 7, 8:25 p.m., VPRO, NPO 2 onwards It can be viewed online on Saturday via vpro.nl/tegenlicht