What is the Metaverse?
Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday, October 28 that Facebook would become “Meta,” the name for a corporate brand that would encompass Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp among others as its subsidiaries.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world,” Zuckerberg said. “It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do.”
The company also replaced its logo from the classic blue thumbs-up sign to a blue infinity sign. It is repositioning to center on future-focused production, with one subsidiary, Oculus, creating new Virtual Reality (VR) products for a more immersive consumer experience.
The VR Takeover
Gen Z grew up in the age of social media. We were surrounded constantly by technologies, from TV shows to Instagram. This change to Meta creates a notion that this social media age will only be getting deeper. With the rise of VR, Meta could take over several more industries within technology, even including society itself.
As Julia Terpak, Gen Z Tik Tok content creator and Account Director at JUV puts it, “Now that in the US we’re realizing just how close a crazy, new Virtual Reality is, it’s time we talk about what restrictions need to be put in place… because there is nothing more powerful than mental warfare, and Virtual Reality can certainly cause mass delusion.”
The methods that Facebook (Meta) used for their name and brand image alterations were all focused on crafting an interdimensional digital space within virtual reality. However, there is also speculation that the brand is trying to move away from the troubles it went through with the law very recently with privacy issues on their digital platforms.
“We don’t need the government more involved than it needs to be. But the fact is, parents know just as much, if not less than kids do when it comes to the digital world— yet kids will be most vulnerable to its effects. We’re in a very weird and unique time because of this, and while I would love to keep restrictions at the discretion of parents, Virtual Reality is a beast that needs to be controlled on a mass scale to some degree,” Terpak said.
What It All Means for Gen Z
This shift to VR is a major issue within Gen Z wellbeing among other problems. As populations shift online, a toxic mentality can develop with addiction to technology, body image, and several other mental problems.
“Gen Z leaders will have major decisions to make in regards to digital wellbeing,” Terpak said. “We haven’t even come to conclusions about social media’s long-term effects on things like dopamine— though it’s clear that something’s up.”
In the future, Terpak believes though there is a hindrance that is created here with the evolution of technology, Meta could also create fulfilling monetary and creative careers, which is beautiful.
As Metaverse continues to grow, this could either become a niche interest or fall flat—it’s all up in the air right now. But, what we do know is that Gen Z will be at the center of it all, as the “North Star” as Zuckerberg put it.
Want more on the Gen Z take on the switch to Metaverse? Visit Julia Terpak’s TikTok!
JUV Consulting is a Gen Z collective that works with companies to create purpose-driven and authentic marketing campaigns that engage young audiences. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn how to reach Gen Z, or sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Screenshot, to get Gen Z insights straight to your inbox.