When you are Mark Zuckerberg and the head of Facebook, you can say almost anything you want — and people will lap it up. Not only that — they will buy it. Adopt it. Love it. In droves.
That’s certainly the way it seems after the billionaire social media mogul’s speech on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio, at the company’s annual F8 conference, which is taking place this week.
In his speech, which is being widely lauded by virtually all of the liberal media, Zuck — who is 32 and the father of a daughter — said Facebook is working to develop “direct brain interfaces that are going to eventually, one day, let you communicate using only your mind.” Not only that — he unveiled the company’s new Camera Effects platform, which is essentially a set of tools for outside developers to create augmented-reality apps that one would access from Facebook’s existing camera.
In this fantasy world, all user would be able to create their own magical realities right in front of their eyes. So if you’re sitting at your kitchen table in the morning by yourself — lonely and longing for company, not yet having found that perfect someone — you could “create” a second cup of coffee to appear at your table so that you don’t feel so alone.
If you’re a kid and you love Harry Potter, you could “create” the world of Hogwarts right in front of your eyes — and dwell in it for as long as you like.
If you’re an aspiring model, you could “create” a world of beautiful, thin, stunning-looking people to spend time with — rather than go out and work for such a position. Just plug in any career aspiration or situation here, and you get the idea. On and on it goes.
Hey, Zuck, what’s wrong with the world we live in? Why not try to fix what’s really in front of our eyes rather than dream up and create more fakeness — which would give people a completely distorted view of the world as it is, rather than how you (or they) would like it to be? Why not address, seriously, the hideous notion of murder — and how someone was recently able to stream a murder live on your company’s social network to the shock and horror of millions?
Sure, you extended sympathies on Tuesday to the family of Robert Godwin Sr., whose killer, Steve Stephens, uploaded videos of the actual murder onto Facebook. You said you’d like to prevent such tragedies in the future. But you almost immediately pivoted to the “communities” Facebook would still like to create.
Here is the blunt truth. The fake, make-believe realities Zuckerberg talked about on Tuesday don’t give anyone a healthy view of their environment or the world — and certainly would not help people make progress or achieve the many important and worthy goals that they and certainly our society have.
In his speech, Zuckerberg talked more about the company’s “ambitious 10-year master plan, which was first revealed in 2016,” as Business Insider noted. “According to this timeline, Facebook expects to turn artificial intelligence, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and virtual and augmented reality into viable parts of its business over the next decade.”
So much easier to “play” than it is to “do.” So much easier to “pretend” than it is to fix things. So much easier to “create new worlds” than it is to repair and improve the one we live in. Such a shame.