You can’t live a stable life in an illusion, yet most of us wish to.

[The Metaverse is] going to accelerate the good things about social connection and potentially the harmful things.
—Nick Allen
, psychologist


Because I practice both hard and soft science, Modern Professional Magazine asked me to write an article that addressed questions about how the metaverse will affect mental health. This piece is adapted from my answers.

The Metaverse

According to the marketing firm ICUC.Social, the metaverse consists of virtual reality, augmented reality, virtual worlds, digital economies, digital personas, and virtual meeting rooms. A more succinct definition of the metaverse is a virtual forum for communication and collaboration that transcends distance and extends imagination.

This is similar to existing alternate realities such as cinema, radio, television, live performance, and literature. What’s new about the metaverse is the potential for greater immersion, a support for dialog rather than monolog, direct connection over any distance, automatic translation across languages, and the opportunity to participate and change the narrative, rather than simply following along.

Stories to be told

Empowering minorities

Honesty and openness

Making connections

Cyber bullying

Backfire in the metaverse

Can the metaverse do harm?

Is oversharing dangerous?

Are illusions addictive?

Will the metaverse degrade relationships?

Protecting your mental health

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