We all heard that Mark Zuckerberg is building a hypothesized iteration of the internet called the Metaverse. In clips advertising the platform, we can see him moving over to live there, in his virtual universe. The idea is to allow people to communicate and even move regardless of the physical distance between them, and to allow them to travel between times and countries. I wouldn’t want to be near there. It will not be a place where people can be happy, and in such a place, I do not want to be.
The whole idea of the Metaverse, as I understand it, is to have people living in an illusion. On one corner, some superman is fighting a demon; on another corner, dinosaurs are dancing to pop music, or something of that sort, and I am in a room with them, enjoying the show.
Is this reality? No, it is a drug.
If all we want is to feel good, we do not need a Metaverse; a pill will do just fine. We can make a pill that slowly excretes drugs that make us feel happy, place it under our tongues, and let it pacify us through the day. We wouldn’t need anything else; why bother creating high-tech illusions when we can enjoy by simply taking a pill?
Pleasure is possible only when I want something so strongly that when I get what I want, I experience the relief as pleasure. But if I can take a pill that makes me feel good without the preceding deficiency, why bother feeling it? It is true that I will be a zombie, hooked on my pill, but as long as I feel good and do not hurt anyone, what is wrong with that?
I would be like a lion—laying under a tree all day and getting up only when its stomach is empty or it is mating season. But is this the life of a human being?
Human beings were given a society for a reason. Disconnecting from people for the sake of being in some fake universe would make us animals, while connecting to people can reveal to us a whole new world.
The real joys in life are not in numbing our desires and our minds, but in intensifying them and vitalizing our spirits. The only way to strengthen our desires is through connections with other people. When we see them doing things that they enjoy, learning things that enrich them and increase their capabilities, we envy them and want to emulate them. This is how we grow.
Look at how attentive little children are to their environment. Their open eyes are always looking for new things to see, and their ears are always listening for new sounds and words. They are eager to learn from the world around them; their deficiency is enormous, and this is why they grow so fast.
As we grow up, we close our eyes, our ears, and mainly our hearts to connections with others. We lose the spirit in our lives and seek compensatory pleasures to fill the void within us. But in doing so, we relinquish the purpose of our lives.
We were not meant to be lions. We were made to be conscious human beings, aware of everything around us, connected to reality, and in constant interaction with the world around us. We were meant to discover how the world operates and how its elements intertwine. We were intended to discover it by interacting with everything. If we want to live, we must give and receive, connect and disconnect, and in this way grow. We do not need a metaverse for this, but a real universe where we can truly live.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen fencing in the Metaverse with an Olympic gold medal fencer during a live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference to announce the rebrand of Facebook as Meta, in this screen grab taken from a video released October 28, 2021.