Facebook has finally unveiled its vision for the future: The Metaverse. The dystopian next generation of computing, a complete turn towards ambient computing that combines socialisation, consumerism and work.
It’s what every major company wants ― Facebook, Apple, Epic, Microsoft ― their own isolated metaverse. Just like the advent of social media, these first steps will be filled with segmented competitors that determine which platform everyone wants to use. And I couldn’t care less.
Billions of dollars for a crushingly boring future
During Facebook’s reveal of its digital promised land, an image of the future was painted. Real-time Hollywood CG visuals with full face and body tracking all accessible through small form factor headsets. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Absolutely! Facebook’s ― or Meta’s ― vision is far from attainable right now. Yes, tracking is getting better, mobile hardware and sensors are improving, and services are more connected than ever. However, the Hollywood look of The Metaverse, that Ready Player One Oasis, is not what you’re getting.
That much has already been confirmed. The previously revealed Horizons Work that Facebook is building deeply into its digital future looks like a Rec Room rip-off. That look continues into the “real Metaverse” which was only briefly showcased. It’s VR Chat with less furries, anime characters and freakish cartoon monstrosities.
Facebook's promise versus reality.
I quite like the real world, Facebook
The Internet is Hell, actually. In fact, working on the Internet for my entire career has only made it more apparent how much it sucks. Technology is cool and the Internet’s ability to connect it and us has undoubtedly made some aspects of the world better.
On the other hand, the good qualities of the global village are only really respected when time is taken away from it. The real world is painful and can be dull, but the Internet has a habit of collating negativity, festering it and waiting for explosions. What should’ve brought everyone together did, but then it made everyone fight.
That’s only going to get worse with The Metaverse, especially one created by a company that purposefully allows antisemitism and misinformation to spread for profit. Distanced from text and detached from the real world, Facebook is going to create a worldwide culture filled with the toxic behaviour of a Modern Warfare 2 Xbox Live lobby.
You should never trust Facebook
Perhaps the number one reason why I couldn’t care less about Facebook’s vision for the future is that I don’t trust Facebook. A name swap won’t change that; not even publicly hoisting Zuckerberg onto a flagpole by his undies will. Although, it would make me laugh.
This is a company that planned to exploit preteen girls to join its service, despite knowing it’s responsible for depression in teen girls. Remember: Facebook was behind one of the biggest personal data breaches ever, and it still hasn’t been held accountable.
Facebook is a goon. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most hated companies in Big Tech. You shouldn’t trust any company, especially one as massive as Zuckerberg’s. And giving Zuckerberg your entire life ― your work, your free time and everything in between ― is making deal with the reptilian devil.