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Neuro-divergence is increasingly more common. ADHD and autism diagnosis are growing and many are learning how to have a better mental health approach. Your body, intelligence, learning disability, and many many other sensations can sometimes get you down. As someone with a Neurodivergent mind, there are a few big ways that VR and the Metaverse can be game changes for Neurodivergent Minds.
The Metaverse Transcends Physical Limitation for Better Social Experiences.
Ok, so I don’t really have amazing social skills either or great public speaking skills either. When I was in school, I learned a lot of techniques to fit in, but I’m not necessarily a social butterfly.
I also have had a learning disability for as long as I can remember. It went undiagnosed for so long I developed masking traits to cover and deal with that disability.
I’m still pretty insecure about it and I have used videogames to be more relatable with my peers.
This is a pretty similar story as a recent TedX talk about our VR identities touches on how the metaverse is like becoming an avatar of yourself – but without the inherent discrimination or disadvantages that can come with your appearance.
Our insecurities motivate us to avoid the pain of dealing with insecurity. They also cause us to develop coping mechanisms to avoid the hurt or frustration that caused us to feel insecure in the first place.
That’s what makes the metaverse so damn interesting. With an avatar, you can remove many physical limitations or insecurities and just allow others to see the personality that makes you who you are.
And it’s not just me who is saying this. According to Verbella, the metaverse actually allows companies to better support people with Neurodivergent Minds by supporting programs that can both relax and stimulate a Neurodivergent mind appropriately.
Humans are very visually judgemental and selective creatures. Ever hear the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” I believe that we have evolved to understand the importance of our greatest sense – sight – and prioritize it above all else.
The Metaverse allows us to be any image we like, and represent ourselves in a way that feels authentic to our true self. By removing appearance or physical ability as a key factor in socializing, people can meet and begin to talk to others without fear of initial judgement being such a big part of meeting someone new.
The Metaverse Allows Us to Be More Organically Confident.
You may have guessed it already but I have a physical disability. It’s not glaringly obvious but it impacts everything I do every single day.
Unlike most of my peers, my physical limitations often dictate my entire day. I look like a relatively healthy 25 y/o going to college for marketing. But in reality, I am just really good at hiding all the things I need to do in day to day life to appear that way.
As much as I want to be my authentic self, subconsciously, I want to be just like everyone else. In the metaverse, there is no pretense to act a certain way, be a certain person, or do anything at all. You can be a social butterfly, a wall flower, or do anything in between.
I have found that with this degree of subconscious freedom, comes a more organic and honest form of confidence. I could be a new person every day if I wanted to… So if there is no risk to meeting new people, what’s holding you back.
That’s the beauty of the Metaverse. You don’t have to be anyone you don’t want to, and you can do anything you want to.
The Metaverse Allows Adults to Be Kids Again
Around the time we hit 25-30, we start to feel like we know who we are. This is both good and bad because we can start to grow ourselves and minimize our weaknesses.
But it’s also a big limitation. If you know who you are, you stop trying to discover who you can be.
As kids, we naturally observe the world around us to learn who we are and how we fit into the world around us. We learn social roles, discover important boundaries, and explore the world around us.
There’s Something About the Metaverse that Brings Discovery Back
Yeah, maybe VR and the metaverse is really just a new version of the same internet we have had for decades now.
It’s definitely possible I romanticize the idea of metaverse becoming a mental health safe haven. VR social situations have their failures and I won’t try and persuade you otherwise.
But this is an opportunity for the internet to be reborn as a better place for everyone. And maybe I just don’t want us to squander that…
If you made it this far and would like to give the metaverse a try, click my referral link below to get a $30 on any app from the metaverse app store when you buy a headset.
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