The Gist: Owners of VR devices are bucking cultural trends and looking for a connection.

With the rapid development of VR, we’re inching closer and closer to the ability to experience the entirety of the world from the comfort of our couches.

In some cases, it’s a wonderful way to see the world, but on the other hand, I fear it could open up a can of worms in regards to our perception of reality versus a curated virtual reality. In a climate where staying in is hot and maintaining your bubble is cool, VR sounds like the next natural progression of regression into ourselves. When we can pick and choose what we experience, will we dive deeper into our tribes?  

So maybe I’ve just been mainlining too many Black Mirror episodes, because our data show this hypothesis to be incorrect, at least with early adopters.

People who own a VR headset are more likely to buck the trend of the stay at home economy. Maybe experiencing the world or a world through a headset has them hankering to get out and see the real thing?

Psychologically, VR owners are more emotionally connected when it comes to being convinced of something, rather than logical. It’s an interesting, and unexpected turn from the logic-based games and experiences that primarily make up VR experiences. While it’s not by much, it’s surprising that this group is more emotional. We tend to think technology creates a disconnect, but it seems like the opposite in this case.  

It seems VR owners are more extroverted than others as well. They’re more likely to enjoy being around people a lot, once again busting the stereotype of the plugged-in gamer. So much for the stay at home economy with this group.  

In addition to the above attributes, VR owners display philanthropic habits. They’re more likely to volunteer once a month as well as donate to educational and cultural charities. With the above habits, VR ownership and donating money, you might assume this group to be high earners. On the contrary, this group is likely to make under $50k.

VR is one of the latest and greatest, but ownership of these devices go against the typical adoption curve behavior we see with technology trends. This group is looking outward, connecting emotionally with people, and is defying the stay at home trends we see across all other groups. I can speculate it has something to do with the global perspective VR can grant, but that can’t be confirmed. What we can say is while media narratives often focus on the negative experiences technology brings, VR could bring us out of our bubbles, at least for current owners.