Virtual Reality: Innovative Or Bizarre?

Virtual Reality: Innovative Or Bizarre?

Where does it end?
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As a millennial (whatever that term means), it’s rare to think about how much technology has progressed because millennials are a part of the progression of technology and don’t care so much for the course of it. Instead, we are more interested in moving along with it. It is also in a sense difficult to really grasp the evolution of technology as a millennial because most of us are really involved in what is current to our time.

One of the more recent technological innovations is Virtual Reality. VR is essentially an innovation where people can use headsets in order to visually (and sometimes physically) experience a different reality from the one you are currently experiencing (x). VR is used a lot for gaming and some companies have even added motion sensors to install inside the room so that your body can become a part of the VR experience. People are also able to experience what it’s like to climb Mount Everest for example, and enjoy the view, while sitting on their couch in New Jersey. The most basic form of virtual reality is the Google cardboard headset that allows you to use your phone for VR while looking at it through the cardboard lens (x). The newest form of VR experience will be released by Sony in October for the Play Station 4 (x).

Now, there is another side to VR besides gaming and nice views that really make you question what the implications are of experiencing a virtual world. Will VR have a negative impact on social relations and is this just another step for our world to be completely computerized? Or will it die down like 3D? VR has taken steps to completely transform mundane activities such as cooking or dining at a restaurant. For instance, people are now able to learn how to cook with VR even though most people will agree that it isn’t anything close to the real thing. But what if it eventually does become like the real thing? In Ibiza, headsets are handed to customers in some of the restaurants so that they could experience a different world while eating their food (x). They could be under water while eating their meal for example. VR also allows you to work. Yes, you read that correctly, work. With their job simulator, you’re able to work at a convenience store as a cashier or work in a cubicle. With the cooperation of NASA, astronauts and people will be able to virtually experience what it’s like to be on Mars or the moon.

VR has the ability to revolutionize how we learn skills and train for careers. Military training would be experienced through a VR simulator in order to make it safer for soldiers. Medical students are currently able to study surgeries that were recorded with VR. Doctors can practice new surgeries with VR in a controlled and safe environment as well. It would be interesting to see how VR job trainees perform in comparison to regular trainees. Our immediate response would be to think that VR trainees will fail once they are put to the actual task. But what if instead, they are much calmer and more confident after VR training?

With VR, history enthusiasts can experience important historical moments and feel as if they are physically there. You can visit the Louvre or the Statue of Liberty from your couch. Will this overcome a person’s need to travel the world and experience things for themselves? Maybe not for a person who has experienced travelling but perhaps this will be the case for younger people who have never travelled before and the world they grow into will only have VR to offer.

The first Virtual Reality Cinema was opened in Amsterdam. Audience members wearing VR headsets are able to experience the movie from one of the actor’s perspectives (this sounds absolutely sick). VR can sometimes appear to be something extremely helpful that would make our jobs easier and in a sense, accurate. Juries would be able to assess crime scenes more easily instead of looking at pictures. Detectives can also have access to crime scenes without tampering with evidence, assuming the simulator is extremely accurate. Another benefit from VR is virtual physical therapy. Studies show that patients show better improvement when they visually experience calm settings while being on a treadmill for example.

There is another VR experience that has recently become popular which is porn. This is sort of bizarre to think about because the need for social interaction and relationships will slowly begin to diminish if people feel the same amount of satisfaction without having to interact with another human. Again, some people may argue that it will never feel like the real thing but many people who have tried it are amazed at how immersive the experience is (x). Also, for people who have never experienced the real thing, their only reality would be a virtual one. Will this overcome the desire to have a physical relationship? Studies show that our generation has the most people suffering from porn-induced erectile dysfunction than any other generation. It’s scary to think how much more prevalent of a problem this will be if VR porn slowly starts to take over our sex lives.

It may be too soon to fully evaluate the implications of a virtual reality because again, it might just be forgotten like 3D. Perhaps humane desires are much stronger than technology and we will always feel the desire to experience things for ourselves. By the same token, an anti-social generation may develop where virtual reality is seen as a relief or an escape from social anxieties.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cbronline.com/news/internet-of-things/wearables/what-is-virtual-reality-4926788

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Stop Texting And Start Making Memories With Your Partner

You'll blink and your time together will be over.

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Technology is taking over our lives in this day and age. People use their phones for every aspect of their lives and they rely on them way more than they should. People act as if their phones are their lifelines.

They set reminders, the play games, track their food and exercise. You name it, you can probably use your phone for it. They have absolutely taken over everything so it's no wonder why people can't seem to take time away from them.

I will be the first to admit that I have an addiction to my cell phone. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. My boyfriend has an addiction to his as well. It's a problem. In any moment of silence, we check our phones or answer texts.

We get so focused on our phones that we will go hours without speaking to each other or making any noise at all. With the already limited time we have to spend together, we really shouldn't be worried about Facebook videos and Snapchat updates.

I hadn't really noticed it was a problem until my boyfriend pointed out that we go days at a time without having a real conversation. I scrolled through our texts and realized he was right.

We had been missing out on weeks of making memories and planning dates because we were too busy being in a committed relationship with our phones instead of each other.

Relationships are about balance and about making an effort to spend time together and make memories. It is about learning about someone so you can fall for them a million times. You can't make memories like that from behind your phone screen.

What happens when your phone dies and you don't have your phone charger? I'll tell you. You're stuck in awkward silence waiting for your partner to get off of their phone.

Or you sit in silence with your partner not knowing what to say or do because you have been treating your phones like lovers instead of each other. That's just painful.

You can't fall in love with your phone and the way that it has grown and changed over the years. Your phone can't hold you when you are sad. It can't take care of you when you are sick. It can't hold your hand in the car or make you laugh. So why choose it to spend time with over your partner?

Do you really want to look back on your relationship years from now and wonder why you don't have any memories? Or wonder why you can't remember anything you've done together?

No. No one wants that. So turn off your phone, put it on silent, hide it away and spend time making memories with the person you love that will last far beyond your phone battery. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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