Zuckerberg’s Meta Disaster

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readMar 21

Is Meta dying or going through an identity crisis?

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash.

Who Is Still Inside the Metaverse?” wondered Paul Murray for the New Yorker on March 15, 2023.

Murray went, “Searching for friends in Mark Zuckerberg’s deserted fantasyland,” and found…not much of anything. Besides a disturbing bit of casual satanism and anonymous avatar comedians in a virtual comedy club/digital hellscape, Murray found boredom, which is itself a sort of novelty in today’s frenetic society.

Whether Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg can capitalize on this old/new novelty of boring its users is another matter entirely.

For readers of the New Yorker, Murray vividly described at length empty virtual “worlds”, blocky graphics, and a weird combination of prevalent pornography, lewd user names, and ways to easily tattle on anyone who upsets you.

“On my initial visits, the metaverse seems sort of desolate, like an abandoned mall,” mused Murray initially.

“When you enter Horizon Worlds for the first time, after a brief warning about seizures, you hear a female voice assure you that if anyone upsets you, you can report them,” he wrote. “In a giggly whisper, the voice adds, ‘Don’t worry, we won’t tell them it was you!’”

The long, feature piece was full of glowing accolades like, “I can’t stress how unlike a party house the Party House is,” and, “It’s not just the amateurish, low-tech design; it’s not just the sparse attendance and desultory interactions,” and, “It reminds me of when I’d try to get together with friends over Zoom during lockdown — everyone’s face appearing in a box in the grid-like contestants in some bleak, prizeless game show, the total absence of physicality making us feel more distant from one another than ever,” and, “I began to worry that even if I found my people, I wouldn’t want to hang out with them here.”

As fun as all that sounds, most American households will have to take the author’s word on it.

Inflation, recession concerns, and — after last weekend, concerns about the financial services and banking industries — are squeezing American consumers exponentially from every direction. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is sure to send shockwaves through the banking and tech industries in the year to come.