Virtual Reality Facebook Sounds Like A Dystopian Nightmare To Me

Facebook’s developers are working on a virtual reality version of the social network. Oh my god, just kill me now.

Facebook acquired Oculus VR last year, and at first everyone was like, “Why?” Well, now we know. Facebook wants us to dive deeper into the biggest timesuck humanity has ever known. Facebook’s CPO, Chris Cox, told The Verge that he “imagined a world where users will be able to share their current environment with other users using an app.” Yeah, OK. That’s a nice idea and all, but is that what most people even do with Facebook, anyway? Wouldn’t the average Facebook user only be able to show you the inside of their apartment? Also, who the fuck wants to see the inside of my apartment other than creepers? And if you’re my friend and you wanted to see the inside of my apartment, why wouldn’t you just come and visit me? (Obviously, I know it might be useful for people who are very, very far away from each other, but still – Skype, for Pete’s sake.)

When I hear “virtual reality Facebook,” all I can really imagine is people getting harped-at about their political beliefs in a louder environment, pictures of food at restaurants now accompanied by the actual sound of eating, and the slow decline of humanity into something like the dystopia Dave Eggers created in The Circle. But here’s the thing — even with the “real names” policy, part of the attraction of Facebook is that you can yell at people about how they’re socialist numbnuts and everything they do is terrible without having to actually look at them. I’m not sure Facebook users actually want to be that close to each other; that’s why they filter their social interactions through Facebook. Virtual reality might end up feeling either too uncanny or too emotionally close for people to actually want to use it.

Call me a pessimist or paranoid, I don’t mind; I’m happier being pessimistic and paranoid and not reliant upon Facebook, myself.

[The Verge]


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