Will metaverse and tech make people lazy? Experts respond at Dubai summit

Users have warned time and again that increased screen time leads to things like obesity, diabetes, blood pressure and mental health issues


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 4:30 PM

The Metaverse and other new-age virtual technologies will affect people’s physical and mental health as they will make people lazier, technology experts said at the World Government Summit on Wednesday.

“Governments will also have to look at the impact of [the] Metaverse on people's mental and physical well-being. Facebook is already making people lazier and we know about the TikTok effect on teenagers. My concern is Metaverse would take this to another level where people may not want to leave their rooms,” said Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO, Goqii Technologies.

Health experts have also warned time and again that increased screen time leads to obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and mental health issues.

While speaking during a panel discussion on the topic of “The Metaverse: Mapping the Next Frontier of Govt Services”, he said consumers are actually more than ready and eager to adopt Metaverse.

Highlighting the importance of this new technology that is taking the world by storm, Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs, Meta, on Tuesday said the metaverse is the rebirth of the internet, and he had been having Monday meetings with his team in the metaverse.

However, Vishal Gondal called for a level playing field from the regulatory perspective.

“The challenge is [that the] current internet is controlled by a few companies and even though we are contributing to data, we don’t own that. We are living in the slave era of the internet, where we are a slave of these companies,” he said, adding that these are the needs of the hour after the arrival of the metaverse, which is “a new country and a new society being formed in front of our eyes.”

Ian Khan, a metaverse futurist and future readiness pioneer, lauded the UAE’s approach towards adopting new technologies.

He said the UAE will be the breaking ground for government services in the metaverse in the form of an enabler, deliverer and adopter.

While speaking during the panel discussion, Robert Wolcott, chairman and co-founder of The World Innovation Network, said the most exciting thing about the UAE, Estonia and Serbia is that these countries are pushing a vision of where the world might go in the future.


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