Sensorial experience does not need physical displacement. Can virtual reality, therefore, replace physical reality?


I’m not the biggest fan of virtual reality. I believe that it could lead to the eradication of the concept of human contact, which our species has known since its very beginning. While I concede that virtual reality might offer substantial benefits to specific individuals, for instance, people with mobility issues, the repercussions on the collective of Earth’s population should not be dismissed lightly.

In this era of rampant technological excess, the erosion of our present reality looms, imperceptible at first but steadily encroaching. A mere touch of our fingertips renders everything seemingly possible, imprinting new values upon us and future generations until the irreversible switch is flipped. Ambitions fade, eclipsed by a forgetfulness that hard work, not instantaneous gratification, propels us to greater heights. The impending demise of humanity unfolds, a bleak reality obscured by a veneer of technological empowerment. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but the facts seem to be aligning in this direction. Instead of being in charge, it will be the machines that are in total control. It will seem like it’s our decision, and that is a great mistake which will make us fall even further down. We will simply be pieces of meat floating around, strapped to technology, severed from the warm connections we once had. 

And if people care to argue by saying that it is better for our environment, they can think again. The time, money, resources, and energy coming from our planet will be required in big quantities and manufacturing will be an enormous source of greenhouse emissions in order to make virtual reality successfully happen. 

I think that we should be grateful for what we have in the here and now. We should find solutions to the current problems we have in front of us instead of taking an alternative route – a cowardly retreat masquerading as progress. In the realm of virtual reality, where sensations and smells feebly imitate reality, the irreplaceable authenticity of genuine experiences is sacrificed. These replicas will never be able to truly replace the real thing. 

By finding pragmatic solutions, we would not only be saving our health and our dignity but also burying the so-called book of human foolishness, ultimately saving the planet.