Young People Still See VR As Socially Isolating

Though the general perception and stereotype is that older people are afraid of new technology while younger people eagerly embrace it, we should all be aware by now that the reality is a lot more complex than a single headline can convey. Brand experience agency Amplify has unveiled its second ‘Young Blood’ report which covers modern British youth culture, including its attitutdes towards technology such as virtual reality (VR).

The first ‘Young Blood’ white paper was published in 2016, which covered research into 13-25 year olds and how they viewed a range of aspects of modern life, including technology, culture, politics, brands and more. This year’s report looked at the lives of 18-30 year olds.

The authors of the report noted a general shift from a general attitude of optimism towards a slightly more pessimistic, introspective viewpoint. The report stated that the group researched was looking inwards for ways to be more fulfilled and happy, as opposed to external sources of validation.

The report also noted that there was something of a change in attitude towards consumerism, with many younger people opting for more sustainable products, or for higher-cost, higher-quality options when shopping as concern about waste grows, with 40% of those surveyed being concerned about ethical production.

The report suggests that in future brands and businesses may have to work harder to connect with audiences, with 7/10 survey respondents preferring experiences over material possessions. This is something which is already being noted by some, leading initiatives such as augmented reality (AR) advertising campaigns.

Though for many developers there has been a shift towards emphasising how VR can be a social experience with apps such as VR Chat or Facebook Spaces, half of those surveyed responded with the belief that VR could make being more isolated and anti-social.

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This is something that might need to be considered by developers and hardware manufacturers as the next generation of immersive technology comes closer to reality. For future coverage on new developments in the VR industry, keep checking back with VRFocus.