Posted: 3 Min ReadFeature Stories

The Metaverse: What Is It and Why Should You Care? Find out at SXSW 2022

In the past few months, the term “metaverse” has circulated nearly every major technology event as companies around the world unveil their metaverse-related technologies and visions of the future fueled by mixed reality.

Tomorrow, I look forward to joining the conversation during SXSW 2022 on the “How the Metaverse Can Rebuild Society, but Better” panel where we’ll explore the cutting edge of Cyber Safety and the metaverse.

While the concept of metaverse is well-discussed within the technology industry, to help center our conversation, we set out to understand how well it’s understood by the general public. In partnership with The Harris Poll, NortonLifeLock surveyed more than 2,000 adults ages 18 and older across the U.S. – and as it turns out, the majority of individuals don’t know what the metaverse is.

  • In fact, nearly two in three Americans (64%) are not familiar with the concept of the metaverse, saying they either heard the term before but don’t know much about it (32%) or have never heard of it at all (31%).
  • When it comes to experiences in the metaverse, Americans are most excited about the prospect of: experiencing things that can’t be done in real life (34%), playing games (32%), shopping (31%), exercising (29%), hanging out with friends (28%), and going to a party or concert (22%) within the metaverse.
  • That said, the vast majority of U.S. adults (84%) have at least some concerns about the metaverse, and more than half (52%) report having data concerns, including data breaches that would expose their personal information (40%) and lack of data privacy (i.e., regulations over how data is collected, shared, and used) (39%).

Needless to say, possibilities in the virtual world may be richer than ever but they come paired with consumer skepticism and safety concerns. There is more work to be done to increase awareness and spark the conversations necessary to ensure our new digital reality can advance humanity and address the issues of the real world.

Tomorrow, our panel discussion will offer perspectives on the regulations, safeguards and design considerations that are key to building the metaverse on a foundation of security, privacy, transparency, equity and inclusion. Each panel expert brings a unique point of view – as technologists, security experts, designers and parents – and we enter the conversation optimistic that, with the right framework, the metaverse can reshape the fabric of our society for the better.

For those attending SXSW this year, join us for a lively discussion on Friday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Salon K of the downtown Austin Hilton. Learn more about how you can experience digital living on the bright side with Norton at SXSW 2022, here.

About the 2022 NortonLifeLock Metaverse Omnibus Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NortonLifeLock from February 24-28, 2022 among 2,062 adults ages 18 and older. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status and size of household where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.  Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

Copyright © 2022 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About the Author

Darren Shou

Chief Technology Officer

Darren is the CTO for NortonLifeLock. In this role, Darren is responsible for technology strategy, innovation, and thought leadership. He is a global keynote speaker, a contributor at WIRED, and has been featured in Wall Street Journal, and other major media.

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