Students are rejecting the metaverse – here’s why
As the cost of living rises, students are looking to earn extra cash to make ends meet, often online. But, argues Jordan Dargan of agency Raptor, they won't be doing it on the 'metaverse' any time soon.
Raptor considers changing attitudes to the metaverse from students. Image: Eliott Reyna/Unsplash
Since the launch of the internet, it seems as though everyone is getting rich overnight from 'the next big thing'. Recently, it's been Forex, then crypto. Often, we quickly realize that these 'life changing opportunities' are very rarely (if ever) tilted in our favor.
From my experience, generation Z seem to have a burning lust for quick and easy money. This is evident in TikTok side hustle trends, investment and crypto currency.
In actuality, these trends make generation Z more vulnerable.
Power in numbers
Many students are optimistic about building a future, with no one depending on them. So, right now, generation Z student are often the pioneers who jump head-first into new opportunities without a second thought.
Generation Z have been the wave that carried advancements such as video streaming, social media, and online gaming to unprecedented heights, making companies such as TikTok household names. So surely the next big tech revolution should be backed by us as well, right?
In late October of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg broke the internet when he announced that Facebook would not only be rebranding itself as ‘Meta’, but that it would also be opening a multi-million dollar department dedicated to creating the world's first fully immersive metaverse.
But even now in 2022, the majority of generation Z are yet to adopt the concept of the metaverse into their lives. This is no surprise considering the barriers to entry are so high.
Barriers to entry
First are financial barriers. To enter the metaverse you’ll need an oculus VR (virtual reality) headset, starting at around £299 or $399. This isn’t exactly affordable for the average student.
Next are educational barriers. Metaverse side hustles require a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies and products linked to them such as NFTs. This aspect of the metaverse can be quite overwhelming and a big turn off for students.
The idea of the metaverse is to escape the dull reality we live in by immersing ourselves in a fully-fledged virtual reality lifestyle powered by the advancements of web3.
Zuckerberg envisions the world doing everything (work, university, dating, exercising) all from one central metaverse, with each user having their own unique experience. It’s hard to envision a world in our lifetime where this concept will receive mainstream adoption.
There’s also the question of mental health. About 1 in 5 students worldwide are diagnosed with mental health issues, but it’s believed that 3 out of every 5 in have suffered some kind of mental trauma during their lifetime. In a 'perfect' metaverse reality, some would find little reason to want to return to the reality in which we currently live in.
Web3 is the most eccentric concept we’ve seen in the last 20-30 years. While the idea of replacing money with NFTs and running around a limitless metaverse sounds exciting, students are not likely to adopt this anytime soon. For brands trying to reach students, for now, the metaverse is not the place to do it.
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