On Meta, Loneliness and Love
This is a standalone essay on Day 6 of the Tech Progressives Writing Challenge, also join build_ to connect.
Before you read this post I must warn you. It might be harsh and offend you. I will use overexaggerated visuals and I will purposely argue from just one thought alone.
This one thought on which I will base my whole post, came to me while I was alone on a ranch in the middle of Russia. I was there to explore “Loneliness”. After three weeks or so, it happened, my eureka moment. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise, spent a lovely day with my dogs playing in the forest and ate fresh food. On the way home I enjoyed the sunset and was full of happiness. I went to the sauna to finish off this perfect day, and there it got to me. I wanted to share my happiness with someone, tell someone about my day, share my thoughts. But, I was alone. It is a very strange feeling and difficult to explain, you have to feel it.
You understand that your thoughts do not matter, as you cannot share them with anyone. It does not matter if your day was great or awful, you are by yourself, it does not change anything, there is no meaning.
Sharing your thoughts with others gives meaning to your life.
Loneliness is a scary thing. When you get lonely, your life becomes meaningless. Perhaps, that is also the reason why one of the worst punishments in prison is “solitary confinement”. Even though you are surrounded by the most dangerous people of society, you still prefer to be with them, than to be alone.
This pre-story was perhaps important for me to understand more deeply what drives people to use the internet. I think it is mostly Loneliness and something that is very closely related to it, Love. First people want to share their thoughts to give them meaning (Loneliness), then people want to get validation (Love). However, the internet is just an easier substitute for things people cannot get in real life that quickly. To understand the magnitude of this, take Twitter and Pornhub for example. Each website had 3.6 billion visits in july 2021
, that is basically half of the world. Twitter and Social Media are used as a substitute for sharing meaning, Pornhub and other porn websites are used as a substitute for validation. The fifteen worlds most visited websites
are split between by four categories: Social Media, Porn, Search Engines and Shopping. Thus, I would argue that 50% (Social Media, Porn) are driven mostly by the two underlying principles of "Loneliness" & "Love".
The underlying principles did not change, just the medium. It started with text, then images, then videos and the next step is VR. I think, arguing from this one thought alone, VR will bring one of the biggest changes in human society and Meta will lead the way.
Meta will be huge, but not in a good way. I think for a big part of the world's population VR will be irresistible and seductive in comparison to real life. It will be a refuge, like a drug. VR will magnify all the problems with social media
10x, because it is a completely new experience of “virtual” reality. Good or bad, VR will be a global issue, let me explain:
Most of the world's population lives in poor conditions, around 1 billion people live in slums
. Even if you are “rich”, chances are that you work all day, do not enjoy your job and come home to your apartment complex to watch tv, masturbate and fall asleep. Accept it, most people hate their lives. Therefore, the number of suicides goes up, divorces are at an all time high and everyone suffers from some kind of mental health issues. Open your eyes, we are Sisyphus
. How can you not want to escape to VR?
Real life is difficult and VR is a never seen before drug to escape it. Don’t take my word for it, rather listen to the first man who chose the Metaverse over Real Life
. As Cypher famously said:
Ignorance is bliss.