Metaverse could be serious problem for kids, experts say… ‘More loneliness’…

If there’s one thing that tech companies, retailers, content creators and investors can agree on, it’s this: There’s plenty of money to be made from the metaverse.

But as CEOs try to elbow past their rivals to gain a foothold in the still nascent digital space, some psychologists and mental health experts say the race to turn a profit is taking attention away from a crucial question: Will the metaverse be a safe place, especially for kids and teens?

The answer isn’t encouraging. Recent research has shown myriad negative effects of social media on the psyches of children and adolescents, from the prevalence of bullying and harassment to self-esteem and body image issues. Those same pitfalls could be just as prevalent — if not worse — in the wide-open metaverse, with its series of vast virtual worlds intended for both work and play.

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But if tech companies take those concerns seriously from the beginning, and build solutions into their metaverse products, they could actually benefit children’s mental health, some experts say.

“All of these new tools, and all of these new possibilities, could be used for good or for evil,” Mitch Prinstein, a clinical psychologist who serves as chief science officer for the American Psychological Association, tells CNBC Make It.


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