0:00:02 – Speaker 1
Welcome to the nextTalk podcast, where we share real stories and practical advice for parenting the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
We’re your hosts, Mandy and Kim. Mandy is an award-winning author and the founder of nextTalk, and I’m the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization created to strengthen families through open communication. You can check out all of our resources at nextTalk.org.
0:00:24 – Speaker 1
We’re your wives, moms and friends, tackling culturally relevant topics from a Christian perspective. We’re sharing what we’ve learned and where we’ve failed. We’re so glad you’re here for this conversation.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
So the other day I got like 50,000 mailers in preparation for the holidays and all of them had things with like VR goggles, had things about the metaverse and all this stuff. And I was like okay, okay, okay. And then my son got invited to a birthday party. That was a VR party at this new place in town where you go and you go online and it’s a whole thing. And so I was telling Mandy, i was like girl, this is everywhere, like I’m hearing it all over the place. We got to do a show about this And you so graciously replied with what are you talking?
0:01:14 – Speaker 1
about? What’s VR? What’s that mean? What’s it even mean? Like okay, so I’m like 80 now. My kids are 18 and 15. And this is not even a thing for them right now. It’s not even on their radar Like they know about it. I’ve asked them about it but they don’t want it. They don’t, they’re not into it. But your kids are younger and everybody has, and now they’re getting invited. So, like again, we see this gap in technology and how fast it’s moving and how fast everything is changing. So we got to take note. So, kim, bring it down for us. Vr, what does that stand for? Like we need this is going to be a show. Like I’m going to ask you all the questions. Like I’m fine, i love that.
0:01:49 – Speaker 2
Five. Well, I do want to say this If you have VR goggles and your family is already in this world, you’re in the know. Stick around, because this show is still for you. We have some great tips at the end on how to navigate it and some conversation starters. So I really think this show is for everybody, including five year old Mandy. So let’s dig in here with the first thing I told you, because you are like what is it? Explain it to me in simple terms.
0:02:15 – Speaker 1
Yes And tell, tell them what you told me, Because the story you told me, I was like, oh yeah, Okay, I totally know what you’re talking about now. Yes, But you know, in the moment I was like VR goggles, what, Like you know, if your kid’s not into it, you’re just like what you know.
0:02:28 – Speaker 2
Nope, nobody’s got time for that. So here’s the story that helped me understand what it means. My mom actually has a friend and this kind of blows my mind, but she’s an older lady, like 70 plus, and she spends upwards of eight hours a day in her VR goggles.
0:02:48 – Speaker 1
Now she’s not very wait what what you just casually said, that Wait what I know. So she’s wearing VR goggles around the house for eight hours a day.
0:02:58 – Speaker 2
Well around the house, maybe not accurate like in her recliner chair. That would be more accurate.
0:03:05 – Speaker 1
Okay, i already think obesity is going to be a topic of conversation in the VR world, because we’re all going to be just that.
0:03:13 – Speaker 2
That is 100% a concern of health professionals, for sure, okay, okay. So she does get up, that’s you know. She does like march in place. So there is that. But anyway, she spends her time on her VR goggles because she’s not super mobile, she’s not super social, she’s older and has some health problems And she’s thinking about all the things she missed out in the world on as a young person And she’s just not in a space financially where she can do them, like go to Paris. So guess what she does? She has a walking partner in Paris that she meets up with every morning and they walk and they like to see the city and the museums and they talk her and her virtual friend in the metaverse.
0:03:52 – Speaker 1
Yes, ma’am, it’s true. Okay, wait, wait. I have so many questions here. Okay, so is this a real person in Paris that they’re connecting with online, or is this a made?
0:04:00 – Speaker 2
up person. This is a real person that is not in Paris, probably like in some other rural town. In every client that she has met in the metaverse found they have similar interests. So wait a minute.
0:04:16 – Speaker 1
So you’re telling me we have two grandma Yes, in recliners, yes, in small town areas, and they are meeting up in their VR goggles and going to Paris together. Yes, this is what you’re explaining to me.
0:04:30 – Speaker 2
Even my dogs are excited about it. Okay, so listen, listen, i see the appeal.
0:04:34 – Speaker 1
Right, this is amazing. Amazing, because you can’t afford to travel, you can still travel from your recliner, your bed bound, maybe you’re sick.
0:04:41 – Speaker 2
Hey, i’m going to start a marathon and, you know, be number one, okay.
0:04:46 – Speaker 1
So I’m in. I’m getting VR goggles tomorrow. Well, hold up, but now we got to wait on the. We got to wait on the because you know us here at nextTalk. There’s pros and cons to everything that we want to cover, so hold on, we’ll get to it. But I think this is a great description of what you’re talking about here, like meta VR, a different type of world, and VR stands for virtual reality.
0:05:09 – Speaker 2
If nobody, knows what that means. I’m going to give you a few definitions, because you you need to know these, just like you need to be able to say the words when we’re talking about difficult topics that Mandy and I cover all the time. If your kids know these words, you need to know them And I promise you eventually they will, because this seems to be the future of the online world. So the cool thing is we’re getting ahead of it a little bit. We didn’t get to do this with cell phones. It kind of took the world by storm. We had no idea what we were in for. That gave us like a little sampling of what we’re going to face in the future, only on steroids. And I got to be honest like I immediately went to the negative, you’re going to the positive. I was like what? That’s crazy. Think of all the dangers, think of all the things. Oh my goodness.
0:05:54 – Speaker 1
My mind is racing because I’m like okay, so now are they meeting up with their VR goggles and having sex Like is this what’s happening?
0:06:01 – Speaker 2
Yes, Yes, and we’re going to get there. So that’s the thing. Okay, so there’s a lot of Wild Wild West out there on the metaverse. It is, i mean, anything goes at this point, anything goes. You know, i keep saying we’re going to get there because there’s just so many things happening and it’s happening so fast, and I want to make sure you have an understanding of the key things that you need to know to parent it, and that’s what we’re all about. I’m not going to give you all the details of every technological word and function, but the key things that you need to know to understand what this platform is about.
Okay, so the first thing I want to say is that the concept or the idea of the metaverse was first introduced in 1992 by author Neil Stevenson in this science fiction book called Snow Crash, like he literally talked about a mirroring of worlds. So imagine everything that you’re doing right now mirrored in this created world, so that you could literally stay in one place with your VR goggles on, but you would live your whole life and existence online in this created world. But fast forward to COVID and we were forced into a place where we changed the way we did our normal things, like school and work and seeing doctors. All of that had to shift really, really quickly out of necessity, and so all the technology that was needed to move this idea forward started happening during COVID, and so it pushed these ideas into reality. These were things we thought would happen way down the line, and now they’re here and advancing more and more every day.
0:07:40 – Speaker 1
So it was around before COVID, but COVID heightened it, just like everything else with online stuff, because the world kind of changed with COVID. But okay, so you say this word metaverse, like what is that? I mean, i remember being in fourth grade and my teacher saying why, if you know, it is getting ready to change. Is that what you’re saying here? What is metaverse? Is it like the worldwide web? Like again, say it to me like I’m five, okay, okay, i’m gonna break it down.
0:08:06 – Speaker 2
I’m breaking it down, girl. Okay, so the metaverse. there’s a lot of different ways to describe it, but I’d say the most simplest understanding is it’s a shared virtual 3D world where everyone can interact using their personalized avatars.
0:08:23 – Speaker 1
Okay, so I create an avatar and you and I can go online and, instead of flying to a nextTalk event, we’re gonna get it in our VR goggles and we’re gonna go to a nextTalk event through our VR goggles.
0:08:37 – Speaker 2
Exactly, you got it because here’s the thing It would cut down on costs for travel, it would cut down on hotel route, like all the different things, and all the people who wanted to attend that event would just put on their goggles and they’d be in their seat already.
0:08:52 – Speaker 1
And the sneaky person next to me. I won’t have to put up with them on the plane. Exactly. That did not sound loving, but it’s on air, i’m being honest You know you’re tight in there with the capsules like flying.
0:09:05 – Speaker 2
It’s not fun, it’s not fun. And so imagine this is already happening. There’s been concerts, events, seminars, meetings. Wait, wait, wait. Concert. Oh yeah, you buy your ticket instead of showing up at the event at the start time. You put your VR goggles on at the start time. Concert’s about to begin. You can cheer, you can do all the things. You’re there. It feels like you’re at the concert and then you take them off and you’re in your PJs and you’re in your bed.
0:09:32 – Speaker 1
Okay first of all. Okay, there’s a couple emotions running through me right now. First of all is I feel like I’m 80. Like I do feel like I’m really old because I’m you have to explain this to me like I’m a child. I feel really weird about that because I’ve been in this parenting phone thing forever And this is like I feel like this is a whole new thing, even though you’ve been telling me it’s been around forever. But what you’re telling me is it’s exploding. It’s exploding now, post COVID, which is why it’s become such a thing with young kids. Okay, so that’s one feeling is I feel like I’m 80. The other thing is, as an introvert, i feel like this is a dream. Yeah, i never have to get out of my PJs A dream for me. That is like my dream. And it’s also, i know, a curse because because I need people like in real life, and so I have, i’m having all these emotions right now about what I feel about this.
0:10:25 – Speaker 2
Well, i think you can apply some of that to what happened again during COVID, because when it first started you and I were like, okay, we can stay home, like we adjusted to that idea real quick, we’re in our PJs.
We’re with our favorite people. You know our family, we were able to talk on the phone and you know online, but then we quickly realized that was not the same as human touch and interaction and being in the same space, and we missed that. Well, kind of the crazy part about this is developers are moving so fast that they’re trying to make the metaverse in this online space so real that those things you miss will be gone. You will experience people as if you’re standing in front of them. So again, you know I want to explain why some of that could be real scary in a little bit, but I do want to get back to the definitions because I think that is a good place to start.
So it’s the shared virtual world that we’re in, but I think some of the things that are hard to wrap our mind around is that it doesn’t turn off like a video game. It is everlasting. So it’s going on and on while you’re sleeping, while you’re there or not. So it’s a created world that continues to grow whether you’re there or not. So that’s new.
0:11:40 – Speaker 1
Oh, my gosh FOMO. We already have fear of missing out.
0:11:44 – Speaker 2
Can you imagine?
0:11:45 – Speaker 1
You can’t even sleep or take your VR goggles out because I’m going to miss out on what’s happening. Well, and it’s like a whole new level. It’s not just on steroids, kim, i think it’s like on cocaine, it really is. This is like a whole new thing.
0:11:58 – Speaker 2
The more I dug into this I mean, i had pages of research and conversations with people I’m just fascinated by the possibility and also a little terrified, if I’m being honest, just being putting it out there. Okay, so it just, whether you’re there or not, it continues to grow. Also, it is interconnected, and this is a new thing too. So rewind back to some things that we kind of know, like. Minecraft is a created world, right? You create your avatar, you build the world the way you want to. So that was kind of what they call these mini metaverse worlds, where we’ve had an understanding of what it looks like to build something the way we want it. But the difference is now, all over the world, creators are adding to the metaverse, while developers are working to make it interoperable, which means you could go from one world to the next and exist as one big thing, kind of like the worldwide web. But instead of us just seeing it, we exist in it through our VR goggles.
0:13:02 – Speaker 1
So, instead of just okay. So I’m putting this in terms for my teenagers Yes, like I have to be careful with them scrolling on Instagram too much, or just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. But what you’re describing to me, instead of just using social media and being able to access social media, what you’re telling me is like we are social media.
0:13:24 – Speaker 2
Yes, like we go into it Instead of saying oh, grandma’s birthday was yesterday, look at the fun pictures of her at, you know, cheesecake Factory. Instead, you’d meet her there at Cheesecake Factory, virtually, and you’d have dinner with her, but you would be in your recliner. Except, you’d be in your recliner, but you’d sit there and you’d have a conversation with her, and so there would be no need to scroll on Instagram because you could be in the moment with her.
0:13:51 – Speaker 1
Okay, i have so many questions about this, so if she reaches out and gives me a hug, am I going?
0:13:55 – Speaker 2
to feel that Okay, so now we’re in this new territory that I’m very interested in following. There is currently software and developers who have figured out how you can experience all five of your senses while in the metaverse, including things like touch, smell, taste, pain. Imagine that The implications there for me were. When I read about that I was like, okay, i don’t know about that, but all of those things they are not openly available to the public yet, but you know that if they’ve created it and this is Sony and a Japanese company working towards creating this to be user friendly for your everyday person in the metaverse you know that’s coming, where you’ll be able to reach out and hug grandma and feel like you are hugging her, where you’ll be able to kiss someone or do other things hurt someone, and they will experience it as if it’s actually happening.
0:14:52 – Speaker 1
So you could be raped on the metaverse and feel it Not now, but that’s what’s coming. And because now you’re just an avatar on a screen where you actually you know people can. I’m just thinking about kids playing online gaming. They’re an avatar and they can be shot or whatever, but it’s just their avatar. But when you have these VR goggles on, you’re telling me that there’s technology out there for senses. Then somebody shoots you or hits you. You’re going to feel that Well, yes, this is really hard to wrap my head around It is Now.
0:15:29 – Speaker 2
I do want to be fair here and say that, specifically Meta, formerly Facebook their technology. They do have safeguards in place, but you can easily turn them off, and I think that’s the bigger problem, just like with cell phones, where kids always find the loophole and they know how to turn things off and get around things. This is no different. They have something called the safe zone button, which allows users to block people who are bothering them. They have something called the personal boundary feature, where people you don’t know can’t come within four feet of you in the metaverse. They have rules against profanity and racial slurs and anything like that. They have all those things in place. But again I go back to cell phones and parenting, that and how all of those features are available within a lot of apps and games, but kids know how to turn them off, and that’s what’s happening currently in the metaverse.
I spoke to one of our counselor partners and she said that’s one of the biggest concerns is that the difference in gaming or experiencing online activities is that you are a watcher. Currently You’re still outside of it And so your body only experiences it in a certain way, and we already know the effects extreme gaming and violence has on our kids and on us. So imagine now what she’s saying is that in the metaverse or when you’re wearing VR goggles, your brain experiences what happens as if it’s really happening, even though you can’t feel it yet. So already our bodies are having a whole different experience when we have it virtually, versus watching it because you’re in it, it’s your, you feel like it feels more real.
0:17:16 – Speaker 1
It feels more real.
0:17:18 – Speaker 2
I experienced this firsthand with my son. We went to main event. We go there all the time for birthday party so much fun and they have a VR area there that you can do. So he went in there and there was a young kid operating and he’s like, oh, you got to do this one, it’s the best one. And it ended up being a zombie attack VR experience. He said it was so terrifying because it felt like you were actually being attacked and he had nightmares for days. It was awful. He’s like I never want to do that again And my son’s a gamer. But he said this was nothing like gaming at home nothing. And so this to me was kind of a red flag, like if he’s experiencing it in this way, now imagine when the sensory parts of this technology are added. It’s a game changer Like this will change our whole world.
0:18:06 – Speaker 1
You know I’m I’m. I’m thinking about all the positive things that can be used for, which is so great, like seeing the world and seeing loved ones that you live far away from. You know like we think about FaceTime and the gift of technology. I remember when COVID hit I was like I’m so thankful for FaceTime So I can’t even imagine if we were able to actually feel a hug from a loved one during COVID. You know how special and wonderful that would be. So I’m thinking about all these wonderful things that it could be used for. Oh my goodness. But I’m also thinking about all the negative And my mind is racing with all the negative and how addictions and unhealthy patterns could spiral so fast with this.
0:18:51 – Speaker 2
Well, i think that’s the space we need to live in is seeing both sides of it, just like we do with our cell phones and our kids, like there’s so many cool things about the technology in the palm of your hand that you have in your cell phone, But we all know now there are also some pretty awful things And we need to approach this the same way. And I keep saying thank you, lord, for the template of walking through the cell phone experience, because I feel like it is a jumping off point for the conversations and the things that we need to be aware of for this new generation of what the internet will mean. And that’s another definition that I’ve seen a lot, as people are saying, this is basically the future of the internet. We will live it, not just use it.
0:19:36 – Speaker 1
I just had a moment, because when I told my kids it used to be called the World Wide Web and not the internet, they’re like you’re so old. What if in a couple years? it’s weird to say internet because everybody says meta, oh yeah.
0:19:49 – Speaker 2
You know what I mean.
0:19:50 – Speaker 1
That we’re going to be old. Folk Like my 18-year-old would be old. Saying the word internet, i mean maybe I don’t know, but it feels that way. It feels that that’s the way we’re moving. I mean, i was just closing out Instagram the other day and at the bottom it said by meta And I was like, oh, i never noticed that before It sneaks up. So, now that you’ve said it and you’re teaching me all of this new stuff, Kim, I’m seeing it more.
0:20:16 – Speaker 2
I’m being more aware of it. Well, i want to go back to some of the pros, because it is so important to see the good in it. You’re right about being able to hug grandma, see grandma, take a walk with grandma in Paris, like whatever Awesome. But think about health care. Think about if you were diagnosed with something and you wanted to see the specialist who, let’s say, you’re in New York and the best person to treat a certain kind of cancers in Texas. That’s a lot of travel, it’s time off of work, it’s a whole thing. It’s an expansion on what we already have for health care in a whole new way, and so a lot of health care workers are kind of excited about the possibilities of that. That’s such a positive thing. Yes, there’s no geographical limitations, tech being used for good.
Amazing Online gaming. Like I talked with some moms who I know and they have VR goggles and their kids do, and they say it’s so much fun. They enjoy a lot more than just having the little controllers in their hand. They’re like we do like lightsaber battles And we do roller coasters together because we don’t want to go to the actual theme park And it feels like we’re actually riding the rides together And we compete in football. Like there’s fun things about it that the parents are saying are positive. It just kind of ups the gaming experience.
0:21:35 – Speaker 1
So I remember when we first came out and you could play tennis with each other and actually hit it, and we were like, wow, this is amazing. But this is like a whole new level Because now you’re in it, you feel it more. You’ve got these goggles on, so it’s not just that you’re looking at a screen hitting the tennis ball, it feels like you’re on the tennis court, exactly, exactly. It’s crazy And this would be so cool because virtual play dates Like I say that all the time during COVID that was so healthy for my kids. They couldn’t get together with friends, so they hung out online like playing Fortnite or whatever. But now I’m envisioning them all putting their goggles on and saying let’s go to Times Square for the night And let’s all hang out there and see what’s going on.
0:22:20 – Speaker 2
We go to a concert together. There’s people, tons of people, who are meeting virtually And they sit there and chat And they’re at home, but it feels like they’re with all their friends they went to college with. They have these meetups, they meet at nightclubs, They travel together, yeah.
0:22:38 – Speaker 1
I’m just picturing you with your VR goggles on in your kitchen at a nightclub, i don’t know what you’re talking about. And the booty dancing that would be happening in your kitchen. That’s what I’m envisioning right now. No, comment.
0:22:51 – Speaker 2
I definitely did not have that idea on my radar. Sorry That was not in the note. It’s true. Always going off script? No, it’s true, like the whole metaverse is off script. That’s the problem. It’s like imagine it and it can happen. I think one of the other things that’s really cool if you think about it in terms of businesses. companies are more global now. We have an employee that works virtually, mandy, and I work virtually. Imagine if we said OK, staff meeting on Tuesday at 3 and you put on your goggles and you’re sitting with your staff around a table. You can exchange data, you can exchange looks across the table. I mean the things that would happen in a real boardroom. You recreate them in this space.
0:23:34 – Speaker 1
So you’re telling me we wouldn’t have to go on and off of mute with Zoom and everybody’s trying to figure out when to go on and when to go off and everybody’s interrupting each other. It would just be like us hanging out.
0:23:45 – Speaker 2
It’s super weird to think about, but that is, that would be a reality.
0:23:49 – Speaker 1
0:23:50 – Speaker 2
Well, and then think about like products like that, say you know you hear about a new skirt design or a new kitchen product. Instead of just seeing you know on your TV or scrolling through Instagram and looking at ads, you could actually put on your goggles and you could go to the store. You could go to the fashion show and then take it off the rack and try it on virtually and see what you look like in the outfit before you buy it. You could try the product out virtually and see how it works.
0:24:17 – Speaker 1
So, so, I’m shopping on Amazon. Yes, i put my VR goggles on and instead of them shipping it to me, trying it on and then taking it back because it never fits Right, that’s what happens to me all the time It never fits. Thank God for free shipping. Now I’m just doing it right there in my home, because I can virtually shop online. Well, ok, what about stealing? Do I just take it Well to virtual, i just steal it, it’s virtual, and then? and then police actually come after me if I steal it.
0:24:44 – Speaker 2
So here, what’s interesting that you say that the metaverse is moving so fast and it’s become such a huge thing across the globe. The Interpol, which is recognized across the whole world for policing things internationally. They have already started a division just for the metaverse and they are training their police officers in VR goggles to police the metaverse because of crime, because of violence, because of racism, because all these things that they’re seeing arise in already in this space, before it’s even exploded to its real possibility, which is kind of crazy to think about. They have a whole division for this already. Wow, that’s that’s pretty crazy It is. There’s so many pros, so many cool things that we can think about if we stay in the positive.
But, as we’ve already mentioned, and I’m sure Everyone’s head right now is just like, oh my gosh, thinking of all the negative and thinking of their babies.
But I’m going to be honest with you some of the cons the biggest one in my mind if you go out and get your kid any VR device, they can create an account easily. They have parental controls and also the password accessibility. Your kid has access to everything in the metaverse, these shared spaces where people are performing sexual acts, where people are saying lewd things, where people can seduce your child with words or even just talk to them about things that you don’t want them to talk about. If they’ve changed the safety settings that I mentioned earlier like turn them off and if they’ve broken the rule of being 13 or over, which is what a lot of these platforms require, then they basically can access all kinds of things. They have access to that immediately when they put those goggles on. That’s my biggest concern is that the restrictions and the guidelines and the safety measures have not stayed at the same level as the technology has advanced for this thing.
0:26:47 – Speaker 1
So I’m thinking of a teen mom here who is monitoring Instagram and I am logged into my kid’s phone my 15-year-old Instagram account. So there’s some level. I’m not saying it’s 100%, but there’s some level of monitoring that I can do.
0:27:02 – Speaker 2
This is not the case, well here is the thing You will have to be just as active in their online metaverse world as you are on their phone. So you have to take measures to buy the type of VR goggles. There’s different brands that are connected to different platforms. You have to do your research. There are some out there where you can mirror whatever your kid sees in their VR goggles onto your television screen or your cell phone. This is very important.
So if you say, okay, i see the fun, i see the good, i want my kid my kid’s begging me for this for their upcoming birthday or whatever and you decide to go that route, do your homework to get the goggles that you can monitor everything they’re seeing. You just press a little button up a right-hand corner on your phone. Once you download the app that’s connected to their VR goggles and everything they see, you see, you can cast it onto the big TV. So if you still want to be cooking in the kitchen and they want to do their VR goggles, you can see what they’re seeing on your TV so you can monitor their content. So that’s really good. But you have to be proactive here and you have to think through these steps before you just buy any VR equipment on the market.
0:28:15 – Speaker 1
I just go to the addictiveness of it. Like for me again, as an introvert, i feel like I would never have real relationships outside of my VR goggles.
0:28:28 – Speaker 2
Well, and the idea behind the metaverse is that it would be so real that you would not only experience the negative emotions through the sensory technology, but the positive ones that you miss out on on things like Zoom. So the idea is that you would have authentic relationships. You would be able to feel someone hugging you, And that’s the weird space for me. That kind of makes me nervous, Like we’d be exchanging the gift of our true reality for a different version of it. Like why is my question Why? And all I can come up with is that because we’d want to be able to control it more. You know, I’m thinking of my own avatar. My avatar would have actually stuck to the diet that I started. My avatar might say things you know or wear things that I’m not bold enough to do in my real life.
0:29:27 – Speaker 1
So what you’re telling me is your avatar is going to look like you’re 50 pounds and you’re going to wear a short skirt you know and you’re going to be shaking your baby in the night club And then, in reality, you’re going to be in your game room. You’re going to be 500 pounds in your turtle, that’s what reality is.
Yes, but don’t use the. So again, see my. The conversation for me right now is that’s kind of what we do now. We live in a fake world, Like we learn how to be fake And now, in the metaverse, we’re going to learn how to be more fake. It’s like fake on steroids fake on crack It is. You’re right.
0:30:05 – Speaker 2
And so, if you take that thought and expand it to the things that we talk about here at Next, talk now like cyber bullying. Now kids are going to do it in person. What feels like in person in the metaverse Think about scammers, you know, even like fishing and financial fraud, like all of that Because another thing that you need to understand is, just like you know, our spaces, like school rooms and nightclubs and a walk in Paris, will be recreated. So is industry, so Bitcoin and different things like that. People are buying land, advertising and space in the metaverse, just like they do in the real world.
0:30:47 – Speaker 1
Oh my gosh. I just thought of something like so when you want to go look at a new house or you want to go look at property, you don’t leave your home.
0:30:53 – Speaker 2
No, there will be no more like in person tours. You just put on your goggles at a certain time and you tour the house.
0:31:01 – Speaker 1
And we don’t need. We don’t need cars anymore. Like, will we ever go anywhere? Will we go to?
0:31:06 – Speaker 2
church in the meta? Absolutely. There’s already churches in the meta, like you, yes, you gather, you get baptized.
0:31:14 – Speaker 1
I’m literally getting baptized in the metaverse. Yes, yes, i just don’t know about this, kim. I don’t know, i don’t know, so that you would feel the water. You go down, you come up, a new creation, you feel the water on your face With this new technology coming.
0:31:30 – Speaker 2
Yes, you would, Yes you would. I know it’s crazy.
0:31:34 – Speaker 1
I just I literally feel like an 80 year old right now. I feel like an 80 year old Like what Well it’s.
0:31:39 – Speaker 2
I mean it’s not here right now that level of technology for the regular consumer, but it is here. They’ve created it. There’s chatter about it, they’re talking. I mean they’ve already made it. It’s just a matter of making it accessible. So you know it’s coming. You know it’s coming, or making it better making it more real And affordable. I’m sure they’re tweaking it. Yeah, that’s the whole thing.
0:31:58 – Speaker 1
Well, and just like you know, when Instagram first came out, it’s very different, like today, what it is when it first came out, because they’ve updated it and tweaked it and all that. So that’s going to continue to happen over and over and over again, nonstop, nonstop. Ok, so so let me we’ve talked about some negative things, because I think we talked about a lot of positive things, which was great, and you know you talked about the parental controls, the privacy, the security risk, the cyber bullying.
0:32:24 – Speaker 2
One of the other things our counselor partner mentioned is disassociation. It’s on a whole other level, like we see that now, with kids who spend hours and hours and hours online and they start to disassociate with personal and in-person contact and people and relationships And everything is fueled through an online relationship and experience. It’s heightened in VR and in the metaverse because it feels so much more real that they have a hard time associating with their peers at school. If they spend more time in the VR world, it’s a comfortable place for them, it’s safe, and so you can imagine how easy disassociation takes place.
0:33:04 – Speaker 1
Well, it feels safe because you’re near home, but once you put on those goggles, you can go anywhere. You can go anywhere, you can go anywhere to somewhere else, and it’s not safe. Exactly So. It’s a false sense of security. Absolutely, it’s a false safe place Absolutely.
0:33:14 – Speaker 2
And then another thing to think about. I know with my kids, when they’re really into a game they lose track of time, like they can play for hours and not even realize it. They’ll look up at the clock and they’re like, oh my goodness, you know, two hours have gone by. I thought it was 20 minutes. They say that’s heightened times, like five in the metaverse, that you lose such track of time because you get so lost in the reality that is virtual reality.
0:33:38 – Speaker 1
Dang. I’m seeing that with my kids on TikTok, So I can’t even imagine They’re not scrolling anymore. They’re walking into each TikTok and being a part of it. Yes, exactly.
0:33:48 – Speaker 2
Right, exactly, it’s called time compression. It feels like time is compressed and that you’ve only been associated with it for a little bit, but it’s really a big amount of time. It’s crazy, wow.
0:34:00 – Speaker 1
Okay, so we’ve given you some positives, we’ve told you some negatives, but we don’t want you to feel like freaked out to the point where you’re like never, just like with a cellphone, because well, and because right now, I mean we’re talking about future stuff, I mean I know it’s, the technology is there, but you know it’s going to take a while to really get this down, Like right now, the VR. I know it’s more intense than the gaming, but we’re nowhere near some of these things that you’re talking about now. Right, Kind of yes, Or are we? I mean, I’m trying to cushion myself and make myself feel better about this.
0:34:33 – Speaker 2
Well, we are at the space where you meet up and you can be groomed and you can be sexualized and all of these kinds of things. The part that’s to come is the sensory technology. That’s the next step. that really is we need to keep our eye on, because it’s enough right now that you experience it so intimately, but adding those sensory factors in, we’ll just take it to a whole other level.
0:34:56 – Speaker 1
Okay, so processing all of this, you know I’m thinking about these young moms out here and I just want to say, like I’m glad my kids are 15 and 18. Like I’m done, i’m tired of parented, instagram and TikTok and all things. And then I look at young parents and I’m like Whoa, they have a lot that they’re looking at, that they have to parent. So, say, you’ve got a kid with VR goggles or you’re getting ready to get them VR goggles. Like what are some practical things that you need to be, that you see right now And I know this is going to be changing and evolving, kim, as we learn more. This is not a complete list, but what are some things from a next-hoc perspective that you see right away? Okay, we got to have these conversations.
0:35:39 – Speaker 2
Well, the cool thing is that everything we’ve ever said here at next-hoc applies. It is about the relationship. Just with any technology, it’s going to change and there will be something after the metaverse. There’s always going to be a next thing and there’s no way to keep up with all of it, and so the conversation and the open communication is key. And so, starting From that place and knowing that you have to create a safe place with your kid, and if you already are a next-hoc family and you already have that relationship, this is where the conversations start.
Hey, tell me what you know about virtual reality. Or hey, i heard this show. Blame Mandy and I. We always say that I heard this show about the metaverse and I’m like, what in the world? Like what have you heard about it? and just like with other difficult topics that we tackle in our homes, like pornography or Racism, whatever it is, you have to be dedicated to being in their world, and so this is a good start, like learning the things that we’ve talked about today, doing of your own research. If you are going to be kidding your kids this technology, buy it and use it. See what it’s like, read the articles, ask your friends who have it, you have to know about it. Don’t just hand it over and say good luck, kiddo, like no, we can’t do that. Just like a cell phone. We’ve got to understand what we’re handing them.
0:37:03 – Speaker 1
It is like a cell phone on steroids, because they experience it first person and we got to talk about that with our kids well, and I think you know, yeah, the key is the conversations, but the the conversations are going to change and shift, because you’re experiencing it so firsthand, and One of the things that is popping in my mind right now is like Teaching kids how to express how they’re feeling in the meta world or metaverse. Am I even saying that right? You know, but, but I think that’s going to be a key thing too. When they take off their goggles and they leave that world, what that feels like their new reality. That’s not really a reality, but that’s what it is. It’s a weird thing.
0:37:45 – Speaker 2
That’s so true, and I think one of the things that I wonder about is I know how much my boys enjoy gaming. They don’t game for a long time, but they do enjoy it How much more they’ll enjoy this immersive experience. Reality will kind of be like trash compared to virtual reality, where you can look how you want and go where you want And you can ride a motorcycle and when you’re 12, instead of having to wait till you get your license. You know it’s like creating the world that you want and being able to function in it.
0:38:15 – Speaker 1
That’s hard to compete with well, and I’m just thinking about key things that we talk about here, like pornography. In our generation It was a covert operation to look at a magazine like a photo. Right in our kids generation, they have anything and everything access in 4k, and so what you’re telling me is, at this meta level that we’re headed to Now, they’re gonna be actually being able to walk in to the pornographic video and be in the room and experience.
0:38:45 – Speaker 2
No, no, no, no, no. They’re gonna walk in to the strip club and have a lap dance. They’re gonna walk in to the pornographic Set and they’re going to engage in sex, not watch it. Do it. Listen. This is a topic for another show, because it’s a whole, nother part of this world. But I’m gonna tell you a term that you’re gonna laugh at, but I mean it’s a thing Tela dildonics. It’s the name coin for virtual sex encounters using networked electrical sex toys to mimic and extend human sexual interaction. So you can imagine the VR world and you put that in combination with Tela dildonics. I mean The possibilities are endless.
0:39:37 – Speaker 1
I mean, i’m clutching my pearl. I know I’m clutching my, i’m not even gonna lie, i’m clutching my pearls right now because, because this is This scares me. This scares me and I and we cannot operate from a place of fear. We absolutely cannot. But I think we wouldn’t be Real if we didn’t say I mean, this is moving so fast and the implications of all this. I think we all do need to be on guard and really understanding what’s happening in this world.
0:40:08 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. And you know, i don’t want anybody who has VR goggles and who has decided to take this step for their family to feel like, oh my gosh, what have I done? Because, like we said, there are some fun things that you can use these for right now. And if you are parenting it like you would a cell phone and saying, okay, i’m gonna, we’re gonna choose which games you’re going to engage in, but you cannot wander free in the metaverse like that’s a Hard pass because of your age and because what’s out there. And anytime that you’re on it, i’m going to cast it on to the TV so we can talk about what you’re experiencing. Was that scary when the zombie came after you? or when you went down the 20-story roller coaster, like? so you can help your kids Process what they’re seeing? you know those. You’re taking breaks one of the things that was so interesting.
My son, when he, you know, experienced it at that gaming place, i said why don’t you just take off the goggles? Why don’t you just take him off? You were so scared and he was like mom, it was so real. You forget that you’re wearing them. You think it’s actually Happening to you. Oh, so that’s something right there And so he’s like. I never occurred to me to take off the goggles, even though I was terrified out of my mind. Because you forget Elementary child. Yes, so you can imagine if your kid is so caught up in the moment of whatever’s happening. They forget that it’s not real. They forget. So that conversation to like remembering this is not real. Take it off. You can always take it off and come back to reality. That’s gonna be a big conversation. And then there’s physical things, like they’re saying there’s an issue with headaches because our brain is not used to processing in that way with that type of technology. That close to our vision.
0:41:52 – Speaker 1
I mean that’s already a thing with gaming and And scrolling, and I can’t even imagine the research that’s gonna have to happen with that Mm-hmm.
0:42:01 – Speaker 2
So that you know just physical things like headaches and Neckaches and all that kind of stuff. You have to talk about that and a big one is identity. This is just like the things we talk about here at nextTalk. When you’re online, are you the same person that you are with mom and dad at the table? You know where’s your identity found. Now You can present yourself any way you want to online, but imagine that now you are functioning as that person in the space. That feels like the real world. You can look how you want, act how you want, say what you want. So I feel like our kids and their identity is gonna be even more under attack. They can join circles and conversations and activities with all kinds of people who are lure them into different spaces. So the implications are huge of the things that they could spate, the things that they could experience and see Just by putting on their VR goggles you know, kim, we weren’t really dark because we do a lot at nextTalk, because we have to think of worst-case scenario.
0:42:57 – Speaker 1
Yes but you also said you know, you mentioned just riding a roller coaster or there’s I’m sure there’s lots of cool safe Spaces with VR goggles.
Absolutely, we’re just going to the darkest place because we have to think about What is gonna happen to kids here and what do we need to really prepare them for, like What’s the worst-case scenario? I hate that we have to go there, but as parents and as an organization, we kind of do to make sure we’ve covered our basis here. But I do see again the fun of it and I go back to being able to hug grandma during COVID and what a gift that would have been. I mean, there are positives.
0:43:31 – Speaker 2
It’s very useful. I mean, like we said before, in business, there’s a commercial right now where it shows a farmer being able to look at his field and his VR goggles are on and he’s able to see, like, how the temperature and the water saturation for the tree will produce a crop at a certain time without having to actually go out Into the field. So I mean, there’s just so many cool things that are associated with this. The reason we’re giving you the whole picture dark, dark, dark and good is Because this is our chance to get ahead of it, unlike the chance we most of us missed with Technology, with the cell phone.
This is our chance to just have it on our radar, just be thinking about these things, so we’re not blindsided, so that when we see it We’re like, oh, yeah, okay, i need to pay attention to that, or my kid’s really interested in it. It’s more than just a game. I need to see what else they’ll have access to. We just want you to have a heads up and have the whole picture So you can make a choice for your family.
0:44:29 – Speaker 1
Kim, i guess I just want to say, from a nextTalk perspective, thank you for doing all this research.
You know I I had heard of it.
I’d heard these words thrown around but I didn’t really understand it and you’ve really helped me, like figure out okay, what’s going on and Kind of dig a little deeper about what’s gonna happen in the future that we need to have our eyes on, and I think that’s very, very Wise, like you said, you know we’ve got some older people on our team that are older than me They’re my heads up mama’s on nextTalk And I remember when I started implementing the cell phone contract and put that in my book and they were like we didn’t have that, like we didn’t even think to do that.
And I think this is where we are right now with them, with the meta. We’re trying to say we don’t know all the incident of outs of it. It’s still being developed, it. We don’t know what it’s really gonna look like, but this is all the chatter that’s happening And this is the direction it’s moving, and so let’s get ahead of it as much as we can and start thinking in that mindset So we can start having the conversations with our kids right now about that world. That’s coming.
0:45:32 – Speaker 2
You nailed it. That’s exactly it. We don’t want to scare you away. We don’t want you to parent out of fear. We just want you to have the whole picture. So when you go down that route and I’m not saying that I wouldn’t it sounds like there’s some really fun things that I could do With my kids, but I don’t want to go into it without a full picture of how I can Parent it with my kids, protect them and guide them how to use it in a safe way. And that’s where we’re at right now, and, as this technology changes, we are gonna keep digging into it. We’re gonna keep sharing updates with you and information as it comes out and as the world changes, because this is our space And we’re just like you. We’re trying to figure out how to parent it, and so we’re gonna do our best to stay in the know to help you as well.
0:46:14 – Speaker 1
Just like I tell everybody with cell phones delay, delay, delay as long as you can, but there comes a point when you’re hurting the relationship with your child. The child is ready, your child is responsible, your child is demonstrated, they can handle this next step, but you’re just operating out of fear and I we don’t really want that to be the case. Yes and again, that’s why we look at the big scary picture. We look at the big scary things happening, because the less fear we have, the more likely we’re able to dig in and be logical And literally be able to teach our kids about it. That’s the key. Yep, thank you so much for joining us, listening and sharing our podcast. Because of you, this show is in the top 5% of over 2.9 million Podcasts we have lots of resources for you, from counseling to live events.
0:47:00 – Speaker 2
Or if you have a show idea or a question for our team, visit our website at nextTalk org. We’d love to hear from you at nextTalk.
0:47:08 – Speaker 1
We’re more than cyber parenting.
0:47:10 – Speaker 2
It’s conversations to connect this podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained healthcare or legal professional Or to diagnose, treat or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological or legal problem. Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
Transcribed by https://podium.page