From all the different places I can live, I still live around the world. Left, Milky Way; Farther away, the moon represents the gray fire that scorches the sun; on the right, the lights of a Southeast Asian city light up on my own; and in front of me, an email informing me that I need to change the payment codes on my temporary card and send it back ASAP. The world around me slowly shows all the places I could see and experience if I were not alone.
I’m starting to wonder, am I going crazy on this ship? I asked Monideepa Tarafdar, a professor at Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, about the stress of modern work, starting with working from home regularly. “You’re kind of isolated, and technology is the only thing you connect with. And everything gets bigger. All the technical problems are bigger than they are,” he says. “And now you want to put realities above it.”
Mu a research paper, Tarafdar cares to distinguish pain, which makes us the worst, from eustress, the pressure that compels us to do better. “You’re throwing away the stress,” the important thing between them being other people. “I think family life is good.”
The characteristics of the Immersed program are “tech bro.” From the original tutorial, which shows “I’m going to break it today!” to weekly email comparing my time in VR with the time spent with good-looking “power users”, both of which is a boost to productivity. Fact: I watch a lot of work, very deeply, so I don’t see my forehead numb. The fact that the sun is setting one day does not appear to me, and without looking at the mess in the dining room, I would not bother to get up to clean something every 20 minutes.
The house is in an uproar.
But I want to use the ear canal in a way that minimizes “imaginary opponents” and “corporate appearance.” About six months after I picked up this VR earphone, in the back of the room, I found one of the air-conditioned lounge areas to enjoy the cool water and warmth of the sun. I put it down in the room, where I now lay with every muscle relaxed. A spectacular show flew one and a half meters above my head in a way that would be possible with a global program unless he did a lot of carpentry. My hands sit next to me, to the right of the laptop keyboard and to the left of the external keyboard connected to the laptop. I have a hoodie that was pulled over my head, not because I am an “elected destroyer” but because it allows me to let go of the heat. For the same reason, I have covered myself with a blanket, just leaving my chin open and closing the words to write to you.
This is a promise to work from VR: a complete but thought-provoking calm. The world does not bother me, and in return I do not disturb it.
I finally reached the cyberpunk future that I have always dreamed of, and entered the Matrix, which was also transformed into Metaverse. But in all my excitement when I got there, I did not realize that by choosing to stay there, I had decided to disappear on my own.
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