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A Brave New World (Order?)

Picture of Nadine A. Jack

Nadine A. Jack

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If you’re feeling inundated with all this talk of NFTs and Metaverse(s), and their potential to revolutionize the planet, fear not, you’re not alone. It’s almost as if we went to sleep one night and when we awoke, the world had changed irrevocably. 

Regarding NFTs, suddenly those in the know spoke a new language; where OS, MM, Gas, FUD, and DAO were the new vowels and consonants. And what are we without language? Animals. Well, those of us not in the know simply devolved back into the primordial ooze of Web 1.0. Essentially humanity as we know it is Ded

 Okay, I kid, I kid! 

While I am being a touch dramatic, I do think that in a sense it’s justified. After all, the world as we know it has changed, and I’m not even factoring in the pandemic, although it has been the catalyst for many of the technological advances that are now emerging.

The [2020] lockdown has resulted in most people taking to the internet and internet-based services to communicate, interact, and continue with their job responsibilities from home. Internet services have seen rises in usage from 40 percent to 100 percent, compared to pre-lockdown levels (De et al., 2020).

So in a nutshell, we were all stuck inside at one point and ‘living’ online). Now with the Metaverse and its potential, it seems that we’ll have the option to continue doing so, and much more, in a not so distant future.

WTF are NTFs?!

Personally, I’m still learning about NFTs and putting its ever-evolving jargon aside, I do believe that they offer immense potential for financial freedom, especially to creatives and Gen Z. The latter seemingly were born for this version of reality and we can all agree that the old systems of capitalism just aren’t sustainable.

But what does this all mean for the psyche of the average human?

It is human nature to want to touch, engage and socialise. 

If you ascribe this socialisation to the school of evolution, that’s pretty much how we survived in prehistoric times. We hunted, ate, and lived together. To be on your own meant certain death where either a poisonous plant or some rabid, wild creature was just waiting to kill you.

Fast forward to a post-pandemic world where we’re still being told to essentially stay away from each other unless absolutely necessary, and what do we naturally want to do more of now that we’re not supposed to? That’s right, just like teenagers with hormones running rampant, we want to be with each other. 

Enter the Metaverse.

While the Metaverse and its various iterations will eventually provide us with the opportunity to engage and interact via Web 3.0, I wonder if we will eventually go too far? Will humanity become so detached from reality that we don’t feel connected until we’re logged in? 

Already, I’ve noticed a shift in how people interact with each other, and this was pre-pandemic. Currently, there is a general lack of empathy and understanding for others where before there was at least common decency and good manners. Mind you, I’m writing this from the perspective of someone whose formative years were spent in the Caribbean where we (used to) value good manners and consideration for each other’s wellbeing, so culturally, those from larger countries may not be able to relate.

Personally, the world feels a bit ‘every-man-for-himself’ now. As if we’re all in post-apocalyptic headspace but we’re still trying to act as normal as possible while feeling anything but normal. The collective fragility of mental health has been especially perceptible over the last year and a half, but thankfully, seeking professional therapy is becoming less stigmatised than it was just a few years ago. So while we may be having anxiety for breakfast, lunch and dinner, at least we no longer need to feel shame when seeking help to manage it.

There’s no denying that technology is here to stay while constantly advancing. Failing archaic systems will eventually be replaced by decentralised entities, and the future is fluid. While I definitely don’t have the answers to this riddle called life, a key to it may be to find a balance between humanity and technology. 

So whether Luddite or Futurist, maybe we can try embracing the new, while cherishing the familiar. 

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