You’ve likely seen the stories, or witnessed mobs of adults marauding around public spaces in the hunt for rare pocket monsters, as Pokémon GO continues to be the big tech story of 2016. Now scientists are becoming worried about how grown-ups are reverting to a child-like status when it comes to using gadgets, and how future generations will cope.
In our technology-heavy lives, teenagers are moving into adulthood often desperate for validation on social media. They play games that reward them with trophies and kudos, and now see the real world merging with artificial constructs via augmented and virtual reality.
The trend is a worrying one for neuroscientists. While most adults can balance their online, gaming and real world needs successfully, growing generations are at greater risk of lapsing into the virtual worlds when things get tough in real life.
Will Our Kids Prefer Virtual Worlds?
Naturally, there are pros and cons with every aspect. Social media helps many people stay in touch remotely, games provide an outlet from real life stress for young and old, while building tech, teamwork, logic and other skills. However, it takes just a few adults, perhaps with serious pre-existing issues, to start causing accidents, being a danger to themselves or others, and we have a press witchhunt waiting to happen.
Also, as younger generations become evermore reliant on, and immersed in, technology, there is the growing risk of them not being able to base their emotions and judgements on the real world.
This isn’t a new argument, and the same was said about books, radio, TV and text adventures. However, the likes of Pokémon GO and the arrival of VR gaming pushes them up the news agenda. If robots start taking over more people’s jobs, then VR and a Matrix-like world may be one way of keeping the people from rising up against the machines.
Are you afraid of a world where technology can warp perspectives and change reality, where the phrase “man up” is as non-PC as it sounds?
I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.