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SOC 101- Metaverse could be a serious problem for kids

Aug 16, 2023

For the papers you will first summarize the article and topic, explain how the topic is sociologically significant, and provide your sociological analysis of the topic, applying sociological concepts and theories as appropriate.

The paper will be graded on the following criteria:

  1. Clear and understandable discussion of the topic and its relation to course material
  2. Critical, sociological analysis of the issue — utilizing sociological concepts and theories
  3. Overall writing ability – including grammar, spelling, & proper citation
  4. Adherence to the following guidelines:

Metaverse could be a serious problem for kids

Critical and sociological assessment of the issue

In the metaverse, virtual worlds are designed for play and work. The influence of social media on children has been found to be negative by several researchers due to the prevalence of harassment and bullying. Often children are immersed in a virtual world that distracts them from their studies. These kids can be exposed to certain things that attempt a different realism level that can cast a serious psychological impact on these kids. The aspect can be more challenging and create greater loneliness as children can be exposed to dangerous content on websites and even increase thoughts of suicide. Furthermore, the deployment of 3D digital avatars contains another problem of projecting a version of oneself completely different from reality. The fictionalization of identity and receiving varying feedback regarding a completely different identity can create confusion regarding the teenager’s identity. Researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders are trying to discourage, recognize, regulate, and respond to online 2D practices and content which are considered dangerous. Initiatives are taken to balance child safety against the rights to free speech and privacy. These attempts are necessary to comprehend the causes and complexities associated with increasing child anxiety, self-harm, depression, and suicides (, 2022).

Meta introduced a social platform for virtual reality named Horizon Worlds. Also, Microsoft involved a service of cloud collaboration for 3D meetings to be conducted virtually. The game publisher VRChat has already evidenced dangers for adolescents. Minors have been experiencing harassment in the form of abusive language, racist comments, bullying, and even sexual harassment on the platform of VRChat. Thereby, it is necessary to create a metaverse responsibly so that abuse on these platforms can be reported and blocked by other users. However, it is difficult to regulate and enforce safety policies in the virtual platform. In this context, parents play a vital role in monitoring the access of their kids to metaverse platforms. Collaborative efforts between civil society and industry have initiated parental guidance for VR that includes surveillance countermeasures and education on digital citizenship. However, all kids do not have access to education regarding the appropriate use of social media and metaverse platforms (, 2022).

Online social platforms and metaverse have become a craze among youngsters since their inception. In this context, the “self-determination theory (SDT)” is a psychological ideology about human development that includes growth, motivation, and welfare of humans to address their basic psychological needs. As per this theory, intrinsic objectives are generally associated with several outcomes that result in positive welfare.  Organismic integration and extrinsic motivation are the core factors affecting an individual’s development. The need density hypothesis proposes that people having their amenities poorly fulfilled are at risk of developing unhealthy preferences for immediate, consistent, and dense experiences and interactions in virtual environments.

Young people were also previously exposed to hostile and negative social landscapes. When people are using abusive language or talking in chat, one can hear their voices. It depicts a crucial yet problematic fact that social VR might be first experienced by a child on online social platforms (Dutilleux & Chang, 2018, p.2). Certain experiences demonstrate that youngsters often lack appropriate guidance from peers o elders about online ethics. An inability to understand the norms and ethics of online social spaces can expose minors to negativity in social environments like improper social behaviors and abusive language. Some adolescents and kids are addicted to VR platforms. Such extensive use of these online platforms has the tendency to restrict their development in other specific domains like physical activity, education, or social maturity. The present features deployed for protecting people from online abuse were ineffective and this dilemma enabled adults and minors to coexist in the same online spaces.

An expedient methodology is necessary to address harassment on social VR, mainly towards children. Implications are designed for devising social spaces that are more socially equitable. It is important to illustrate the emerging privacy and ethical concerns that may be used by youngsters on social media platforms. Tech companies ought to deploy measures to assure the safety of metaverse for minors like strict age verification, moderators, and instant response when any inappropriate behavior is reported.

As social platforms are becoming increasingly diverse and popular, it is likely that the influence and population of minor VR users will achieve consistent growth. Thus, it is mandatory for VR designers and researchers to consider the increasing population of young VR users while developing future VR platforms and technologies. An online platform must enable the co-existence of guardians and children for being unaware of the cultural and social worlds created by young people online. A comprehensive approach regarding this coexistence can trigger the creation of safer and more comfortable social experiences. The novel affordances of social VR platforms have complicated the dynamics of interaction.  These dynamics support the diverse activities and contents that collectively constitute scopes and challenges to develop nuanced social experiences for children on online platforms. Enhanced management and balance of these aspects to develop and design future social VR platforms opens new frontiers for further research.  

References, 2022, it is creating more loneliness, Retrieved form: [Retrieved on: 27.3.2022]

Dutilleux, M., & Chang, K. M. (2018). Future Addiction Concerned for Human-Being, 1-9. Retrieved form: [Retrieved on:27.3.2022], 2022, impact of metaverse, Retrieved form: [Retrieved on: 27.3.2022]

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