Mat L. 2021-11-01
For those unaware, as unlikely as that is, Facebook has decided that it will change its parent company name to Meta. Naturally, the question becomes: why would this multibillion dollar company with such an immense brand recognition drop one of the most recognizable names (perhaps behind Google)? From what, I can tell, it is due to the fact that the name Facebook has become synonymous with privacy violation, data mining, giving your boomer parents brain worms, and of course, using opaque algorithms to drag us along towards a cyber-punk hell-scape which will be ruled over by the lizard king himself Mark Zuckerberg.
As we move towards Facebooks great rebrand, I ask myself: what will this company say to convince us that it does not desire world domination? Of course, the answer is to role out a complete immersive virtual reality environment where you will spend your every waking moment as a citizen of the eerily dystopian sounding Metaverse. What is the Metaverse? We do not fully know yet. It seems to be some unholy union of Microsoft Teams and the Matrix. The idea is that you will work, play, and live in this virtual environment all under the watchful eye of Meta Inc.
I say this all somewhat tongue-in-cheek, however this type of software should make us worry. In many ways, Facebook is a dying platform. Its popularity has waned over the years as it has become a breeding ground for the worst types of interactions. While the primary Facebook platform has lost popularity, let us not forget that Facebook also owns Instagram, Whatsapp, and Oculus among other companies. It is still a major player, and the machine that is Facebook will continue to lumber on consuming as much of your data as it can, and the Metaverse is just another cog.
Really, all of this prelude is in response to the publics reaction (or lack there of) to recent Facebook events. Why is Facebook changing its name? Why did their servers conveniently crash the day damning documents were leaked? We may never really know, but it does not take too many brain cells to put the puzzle together. The problem is, that people never seem to react properly to these types of revelations, and that is why I am worried. Many people will not do anything in light of this information, and those who will act, may delete their Facebook accounts in protest only to move to Instagram. As they say, out of the frying pan into the fire.
We play this game over and over. We are blinded by our own consumption. This logical fallacy of company X bad implies company Y good never seems to end. We are manipulated by advertisements and algorithms to root for brands without ever questioning that, perhaps, personally identifying with an SVG representing a multinational corporation might not be a good thing. In fact, in a couple of news cycles, these documents about Facebook will be forgotten, and those horrified now, will soon find themselves blissfully drifting off into the Metaverse to join their friends, coworkers, and the rest of humanity.
I have not said anything new in the post. However, I don not think it is bad to repeat these talking points. Why do we allow ourselves to be abused by these companies? Often it is for convenience:
- Facebook, is what my family uses.
- All my friends are on Snapchat.
- I am not that interesting they can have my data.
I have heard just about every excuse. We know what they are doing is bad, yet our passivity prevails.
All this said do not let me leave without a note of hope. I left Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., and I have got to say, it is not so bad on the other side. In fact, it is quite nice. If you are worried that you will not stay in touch with someone after you leave social media, chances are you were not really good friends to begin with. A few weeks after you have been off social media, you begin to realize all the things you cared about werefairly trivial.
Anyways that is all I have got to say in this rant. I have also left a link to wiki leaks because it is not paranoia if they are really out to get ya!