Virtual Reality: The next stage in social evolution?

May 29, 2020 by Philippe, 7 minute read time

Virtual reality has been around for a while now. But perhaps in recent months, humankind is starting to access a different kind of VR. Our new reality is that a lot of social interaction, work and play must be done virtually. 

Of course, there is not much replacement for genuine human contact. A hug isn’t something you can effectively replicate online. But as a human race we are quickly finding more and more ways to communicate in a digital sphere, and this is leading to some rather charming stories.

My favourite story of the week, was one where a guy in Brooklyn, NY asked out his neighbour via drone, and then dressed up smartly to take her on a FaceTime dinner date. A whole new relationship started up through a touch of humour and inventiveness. How easy was that?

Neighbourhoods have come together on social media to offer assistance, friendship and humour in an increasingly online world. Our neighbourhood chat started off with information being shared specifically related to Covid-19. As time has gone on, people are chatting about their kids, good places to walk the dog, fun art projects to fill the time. Hopefully relationships founded online will continue offline as people learn to reconnect in a disconnected world.

A friend in Romania immediately responded to travel sanctions by offering her services as an online virtual tour guide to explore any element of Romanian life or history. Her speed to pivot adapt to our new reality was staggering, and an inspiration for many businesses around the world.

We’ve been working remotely for the past few weeks. It begs the question, when restrictions are lifted, how many people will choose to return to working from an office space? How many people will be willing to put up with long commutes, crowded trains, inflexible childcare arrangements and more? Mankind has just proved that a physical office space can be one of the least important elements of keeping a business alive. Perhaps, with this in mind we’ll see an increase in people who, previously limited by their inability to make it to an office, return to work virtually.

This common challenge has forced us into a reality where our lives have become increasingly virtual and in which we have accidentally become more connected. Singing from balconies, clapping from windows, offering help and advice from around the world – all these things might never have happened without our virtual reality. 

This past week, I’ve enjoyed my first session of Dungeons and Dragons via Skype and taken part in pub quiz via Zoom. What have you been doing with your new Virtual Reality?

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