The metaverse fears: scams and detachment from reality

The excitement accompanying the metaverse goes hand in hand with serious concerns: how can we ensure it’s safe, and how do we not lose ourselves in the digital realm?

Projected to be a $760 billion business by 2026, the metaverse is dominating all conversations through a variety of questions it poses.

In a survey of over a thousand US Americans, Coupon Follow identified key shopping trends, as well as worries and hopes that come along with entering the metaverse.

When it comes to fears associated with the metaverse, scams take the lead (52%,) followed by identity theft (39%,) and privacy issues (38%.) Not far from the top three stands a quite interesting worry cited as “detachment from reality,” with people concerned about the prospect of fully losing themselves in the digital world.

“Are we going to wake in the morning in the physical world, put on our headsets, spend the next 12-18 hours in the digital world, and then log out to go back to sleep? I know people today that spend their days in the metaverse. They have an office with a nice view. They live in small apartments but spend their life somewhere else,” Daniel Cohen, cybersecurity company Radware’s vice president, told Cybernews.

However, the participants also addressed what they believe to be the main perks of the metaverse. As such, the majority cited time efficiency (30%,) purchase history tracking (24%,) and real-time feedback (18%.)

Possibly due to those potential benefits, 20% of Americans have already made at least one purchase in the metaverse, with another 30% planning to shop in the near future. The majority of respondents who’ve done so are Gen Z and millennials. Overall, almost a third of participants were excited about the possibility of shopping in the metaverse.

So far, 18% of Americans have already spent $1,000 or more in the metaverse, yet 56% haven’t made a single purchase. Respondents were most interested in purchasing clothes, games, and tech products.

Not all brands were equally popular among prospective buyers. Amazon was the most sought-after company in the metaverse (with 28% of respondents eager to shop there,) followed by Samsung and Disney (24% each.) Roblox, on the other hand, came last, at 8%.

However, spending money is not the only incentive people have when coming to the metaverse – they’re interested in making money, as well. Every sixth American is planning on starting a business in the metaverse, with social media, virtual events, and shopping companies taking the lead.

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