Late last month, Facebook announced it would change its name to Meta and add a virtual reality component, “metaverse.”
While it may seem like a hip new concept, not everyone is excited about it.
The pushback against the software is drawing a wave of reaction from both Republicans and Democrats.
Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers let Twitter know she is not a fan.
Meta is beta.
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) October 28, 2021
Even the New York Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had something to say against it.
Meta as in “we are a cancer to democracy metastasizing into a global surveillance and propaganda machine for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civil society… for profit!” https://t.co/jzOcCFaWkJ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 28, 2021
This may lead conservatives to wonder why she cannot see how the policies she supports are also a “cancer,” but we digress.
Inspired by Iceland, a tourism company, is another rather surprising source that mocked the platform’s changes.
— ? Reem Abdellatif – ريم عبداللطيف (@Reem_Abdellatif) November 12, 2021
The parody’s version of the metaverse is billed as Icelandverse. In it, an actor who is a Zuckerberg doppelgänger refers to visiting Iceland as “enhanced, actual reality without silly-looking headsets.”
Who knew Icelanders were so funny?
Humor is often an effective strategy in making difficult messages more palatable. It can also be used to poke holes in ridiculous ideas — ideas that typically press deeper issues.
For many, reality is becoming increasingly difficult to cope with, which increases the draw toward the virtual version of reality.
The problem with this, though, is that virtual reality is not real.
As defined by Merriam-Webster, reality is “something that actually exists or happens: a real event, occurrence, situation, etc.”
From the definition, it is clear that even the term “virtual reality” is oxymoronic.
With social interactions on digital platforms being more frequent, what it really shows is how far society is drifting toward favoring the synthetic and superficial over the authentic and tangible.
Much like wading in the ocean, the current causes you to drift — so much so that, by the time you realize it, the place where you end up is unrecognizable from where you started.
The transition is happening quickly, which means it is time to stop and ask ourselves: Are we okay with where things are headed?
We do still have a choice in the matter.
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