Meta: In complete command of the adolescent's future

It's three o'clock in the afternoon right now. Dadu, 14, is nearly finished with his online classes. He would normally be in school, but because of the pandemic, he is remaining at home. He ate his lunch and then returned to his computer. The best portion of the day has finally arrived. "Minecraft, Fortnite, and Stick Fight The Game" are three of my favorite games. With my pals, I also enjoy playing games like Go, Muck, Fall Guys, Risk Global Domination, Scribble It, Brawlhalla, Uncharted, God of War, Spider-Man, FIFA 22, and PS4. I have both Georgian and international pals, and we talk about a variety of topics during the game.”

These games are quite popular all over the globe. Fortnite, for example, is a shooter and survival game with 350 million players, while Brawlhalla has more than 50 million. One of them is Dadu. He used to be a football player, but he no longer does. He now has a lot more time to play video games. He has some knowledge of Metaverse. "I know who Zuckerberg is; he wants to create a virtual world in which we will all have avatars."

It is obvious, virtual and augmented reality is becoming increasingly appealing to the younger generation. The Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of everyday life, especially among young people who prioritize schoolwork, online gaming, and social networking. However, it is critical in dealing with the protection of adults and their mental health.

 According to UNICEF, 15 percent of Georgia’s school-age children have no internet access at home, there are also issues related to online safety since parents may be inadequately prepared to keep their children safe.” Report says.

Tamar Togonidze is a single mother with one adolescent. She is concerned that the social network has a negative influence on her child's mental health issues and that the harm done online may permanently alter her child's life.

"I read about a study that linked aggressive behavior in children to violent computer games. This worries me a lot. Despite my best efforts to provide a pleasant atmosphere for him, my son is only interested in social networking."

According to the European School Survey Project for Alcohol and other Drugs, the most popular daily activities are communicating with others on the Internet. Students aged 16 from 280 public and private schools were sampled and contacted. Most of them agree with statements on Social Media “I think I spend too much time on social media 57% boy, 66% girl “my parents think I spend too much time on Social Media 52% boy 60% girl and “I am in a bad mood when I am not using Social media” 30% boy 35% girl. “Parents can no longer control their children who play video games. From video games to online casinos, it's only a short step. Regrettably, both boys and girls play nearly equally.” claimed Tamar Japaridze, the Head of Mothers Against Gambling.

In safeguarding children, we must build an alternate reality. Sadly, there is a scarcity of social, educational, and artistic places around the country. According to psychologists, the poorer a country's socio-economic development, the more difficult it is to control troublesome teenage behavior. Psychologists argue that it is hard to distinguish who is behind the screen in the virtual world.

“Because the game is directly linked to the fun, the risk of addiction is high if we do not teach the child how to manage it. Addiction causes mental health problems, social isolation, depression, and behavioral problems. This risk increases if there is an unfavorable environment in the family. The adolescent brain is also growing and changing in terms of functionality. He, like food, requires a variety of physical and creative activities, as well as group activities.“ claimed Natia Kuchukhidze, a psychologist.

We don't know much about meta, according to his CEO, "Meta is a virtual environment where you can go inside of, rather than just looking at a screen." This means that we may lose our next generation to virtual reality, or that it may have a positive impact.

Guest author

Tamar Merabishvili from Georgia

Contributions by external authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors.

January 2022