Virtual reality is about far more than gaming. We live in a virtual world where more and more interactions are happening over digital devices rather than face-to-face. In the recruiting industry everything from submitting resumes, to interviews and even on-boarding training can take place online. Many people prefer the efficiency of being able to operate like this, but it is decreasing interpersonal interaction. Could this increasingly isolated way of operating result in people losing valuable social skills and lead to loneliness or even depression?
Virtual reality and personality types
The need for human interaction is different for individuals. Some people thrive in social settings and love to be surrounded by lots of people all the time. They love the noise, bustle and energy that comes from being in a crowd.
Others prefer to avoid crowds and noisy places, yet still place a high value on one-on-one interactions in the physical realm. For these types of people virtual reality might be a nice distraction from time to time, but is unlikely to replace their need for physical social interaction.
True Introverts on the other hand, may opt for as little human contact as possible, preferring to live out their lives in isolation. The thought of being in a physical crowd sends them into a panic so for introverts, virtual reality could provide a way of interacting that doesn’t encroach on their personal space and more importantly doesn’t always require emotions to be shared.
Digital is becoming the preferred communication method
It’s not uncommon to see a group of teenagers sitting together at a café table and instead of talking, they’re all individually having conversations on their phones. It’s these types of scenarios that have some people concerned. If even when people are physically present they are choosing to disconnect what impact with this have on the social environment?
Will people become so engrossed in their own conversations and their own lives that they disconnect from the world entirely? If all their social needs can be met through digital means, why make any physical effort? And if that becomes the norm in home and work settings, what impact will it have on society as a whole?
How is digital affecting our wellbeing?
There are already concerns about the physical and mental impacts of living in a digital age. Being able to interact from a computer screen, tablet or mobile phone is very sedentary. Studies have shown that lack of movement and sitting for long periods of time can have an adverse impact on general health and well-being. Physical movement is needed for good physiological functioning for everything from blood circulation to detoxification and hormone release needed for optimal organ functioning and mental well-being. Additionally prolonged or increased isolation has been linked to depression.
There are some concerns that virtual reality will translate into even more sedentary and isolated lives resulting in an even greater impact on well-being and health. But could the opposite be true? There are those that put forward the case that for some people the nature of their careers already create a lot of isolation and that virtual reality could actually bring back a dimension of humanness and alleviate loneliness.
Take your average tech worker for example. They spend their days in front of a screen in an isolated cubicle. Most of their interactions are via email, forums or virtual messenger programs. Communications are primarily transactional and lack any form of humanity. They operate in a world of facts and data lacking any emotion at all. Here virtual reality could possibly make a difference by creating a type of human presence where people can see and use body language. They can also create their own work environment that may foster greater productivity.
Virtual meetings could be set in an outdoor environment that is more relaxing. Through 3D virtual reality, one might even be able to get a sense of that human presence and be able to read their body language which brings the social aspect back into interactions as it would no longer be just words and numbers. Many tech’s use a second screen to be able to work more efficiently. What if, using virtual reality, you could set up five or even fifteen different screens allowing for even greater productivity?
There are some definite advantages to virtual reality that can be applied in the tech business world, however, to lose sight of the fact that we are instinctively social beings needing physical activity in our daily lives could be detrimental. Like with most things in life, the greatest benefits are derived when a balance can be found. Certainly use virtual reality to gain greater efficiency but also be aware that to immerse oneself too deeply in that world may not be the answer for optimal well-being.
Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs.
The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.