Reasons why we may not be (emotionally) ready for virtual reality

Everyday escapism

The average American spends at least 12 hours and 56 minutes per week fantasizing about an alternate life. That’s 52 hours a month, 624 hours a year spent imagining ourselves as different people living different lives [5]. While it is not uncommon to ponder about a life other than our own, our imagination may lead us to fall into the depths of escapism — a “mental diversion” from the more unpleasant and/or tedious aspects of our own realities.

Technology has made it increasingly easier to escape our lives and even develop ones that differ from our present reality. Social media gives us the opportunity to curate slightly better versions of ourselves and showcase a specialized persona to a select audience. We can binge away hours on entertainment streaming sites that serve us media on demand. And now, virtual reality has become increasingly accessible to the average consumer, giving us the ability to interact with a hyper-realistic world where we can mentally and (seemingly) physically depart from the present reality into universes where we can fly, kill zombies, and travel unboundedly. …


Isabel Won

cognitive scientist + human-robot interaction researcher 🤖 👤 |

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