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Last year, I wrote an article about Mark Zuckerberg’s cookey metaverse idea. The zuck himself had sat down with verge reporters and discussed his idea for a future universe based entirely in the digital realm. This was months before the announcement that Facebook would become Meta but the writing was on the wall.
Now here we are a couple months later and every Tech journal and blog is writing opinion pieces about the future of this metaverse.
A thought struck me yesterday, do we even want a metaverse?
I mean the idea of a massive interconnected universe of digitally mastered content available for extensive exploration and creativity sounds pretty darn cool and futuristic.
But do we want to spend our lives exiting a physical realm and entering a corporate owned universe of advertisement supported reality?
Because to me, this universe is starting to sound more and more like a solution in search of a problem. What are we actually trying to solve by creating this inter-related universe of tech products? We know there are already existing problems within our current digital worlds.
For example just within Facebook’s metaverse, There’s massive problems surrounding regulation, freedom of speech, explicit content and where it gets served, the fundamental question of truth… There are just so many problems within Facebook’s world alone.
Then we get into some of the other Tech company problems. Google, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok… All of these companies have content regulation and significant mental health problems that we still haven’t been able to adequately address.
So are we really willing to double down on all of those problems to make that content that much more inescapable? Right now I’m thinking about how difficult it is for parents to restrict their teenage daughters from getting on to Instagram and developing self image issues.
Right now I’m thinking about the aunt of mine who has had Twitter become the place where she doubles down on her anxiety about politics.
Right now I’m thinking about that uncle who is spreading around vaccination mis-information on Facebook. Furthermore the Meta solution to try and help mitigate these issues is a poor solution at best and in admittance of defeat at worst.
Right now I’m thinking about how Facebook has been involved in political manipulation golden manipulation from all ends of the political spectrum.
Right now I’m thinking of all these issues that exist in very plain and unaddressable ways go ways and I don’t think doubling down on those to make them that much more all incompesing of our minute to minute lives it’s going to be helping anybody.
Look, if Mark Zuckerberg really wants to build out this entire infrastructure of digital life, He needs to have a problem to solve not just a hope and a dream.
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