Opinion | We’re Longing for the One Thing the Metaverse Can’t Give Us - Deepstash

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Rebranding Facebook to Meta

Rebranding Facebook to Meta

When Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook to Meta late last month in a “founder’s letter,” I was on a video call with my writing group, discussing the tactile joys of our craft — the benefits of writing by hand, our love of beautiful Rhodia writing pads, our favorite examples of manuscript pages (mine: David Foster Wallace’s, reeking of chew). Among the three of us, we owned five typewriters and no social media accounts. There we were in the metaverse, longing for the one thing it can’t provide: the experience of touch.

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Change How We Live

Through virtual and augmented reality (also Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses), Meta’s technology aims to change how we live, how we connect with friends and family. (Imagine teleporting hologram-you to concerts or Thanksgiving dinners.) Except for all its patter about bringing people together, Meta advances a fundamental human disconnection: It removes our bodies from the equation.

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Meta's Technology

Through virtual and augmented reality (also Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses), Meta’s technology aims to change how we live, how we connect with friends and family. (Imagine teleporting hologram-you to concerts or Thanksgiving dinners.) Except for all its patter about bringing people together, Meta advances a fundamental human disconnection: It removes our bodies from the equation.

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I Will not go into the Metaverse

I, for one, will not go gentle into the metaverse. Not because I’m anti-technology (I’m not) or unreasonably attached to the pleasures of gel ink pens and hard-bound books (I may be). It’s because after I’ve struggled with anorexia and bulimia for more than 20 years, the last thing I want is technology that further estranges me from my body. “If we lose touch with ourselves,” the philosopher Richard Kearney writes, “we lose touch with the world. No tactile connection, no resonance between self and other.”

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