A few minutes into Facebook's big rebranding video and the thought occurs, "this feels like hell".
The so-called metaverse looks like Zuck watched The Matrix and thought it was aspirational. It's a world designed to subsume every aspect of our lived, physical reality with a digital abstraction. In his imagined future, our collapsing economy and corroded social services can be glossed over with a shiny veneer — "be satisfied with the crumbs you're getting because in the metaverse you have a digital loaf".
If your living situation is less than ideal, just log in to the metaverse where you live in a spacious penthouse. In Zuck's shiny vision of the future, home exists as no more than a digital construct.
But it isn't just a replacement for real life. In Zuck's metaverse, infinitely replicable digital assets can be bought and sold like real, physical assets — complete with artificial scarcity. Things that we take for granted, like the beauty of the natural world around us or our bodies, can be monetized.
Total control over the way we engage with reality — a world where every interaction, every work of art, every grand vista is a monetization opportunity for Facebook.
It feels unfathomable that society would allow the idea to take hold... but then, Facebook already fills that role in so many people's lives. The newly minted Meta already has its tendrils in our family interactions, our marketplaces, our artistic expression, our daily conversations, our get-togethers with friends, our news, our understanding of reality.
But no matter how deep it roots, we can still dig it out. It will take some serious mental weeding and a concerted metamemetic push, but getting free of Facebook's pernicious influence is possible.
Time for the Mental Liberation Front!
Text: Social Skald
Art: Dan Wilson @DanWilson1982