Facebook and Sedentary Culture / by Kevin Swantek

Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_Rift 

Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_Rift 

The news of Facebook acquiring the virtual reality company Uculus for $2 billion dollars, seems like an appropriate follow up to Wednesday's post about the risks of sedentary lifestyle, and my own fear that we are a society promoting sedentary culture. The image to the right scares the ever-loving bejeebuz out of me. The idea that we are spending more and more time consuming media and pop culture from a seated position is horrifying enough (and I do plenty of that myself), but now we're going to choose to isolate ourselves from the real world even further by wearing goggles and earphones.

I think there is a hint of good news in that Facebook's stock took a little hit after the announcement, but I'm not sure if that is really any indicator of whether consumers will buy into this kind of technology. And to be fair, maybe Facebook has no intention of trying outfit every Facebook user with some kind of a virtual feed. It's very well possible there is something about the work Oculus is doing that is important to Facebook.

This post is really a gut reaction to the photos that have attached to this story. Could there eventually be people, sitting in coffee shops, wearing this kind of head gear, and completely unaware of the world going on around them? The idea is obviously fraught with challenges. Thieves that would take advantage of tuned out individuals, and tuned out individuals being unable to immediately respond to those things in real life that require immediate response.

Ultimately, my worry is that this is just more technology (in the vein of video games) that promotes sitting for hours more at a time. It's already been shown that sitting for too long is unhealthy, and were creating new excuses to sit a longer, and little longer everyday. I'd rather see this kind of technology be rejected for a pick-up game of soccer in the park, where you have an opportunity to meet new people, and experience the fun of physical activity.