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Welcome to the Metaverse

I yawned out loud when I heard the news that Facebook has renamed itself Meta. At least they didn’t rename themselves Qanon which would have been kind of appropriate. For now, Facebook, known to all your grandkids as the social media site for old people and weirdos, will be under the Meta umbrella with the other FB companies like WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus.

So, another Greek word. If this use of the Greek alphabet keeps up, first graders will be pronouncing alpha and beta instead of gringo and mamacita. According to Merriam-Webster, meta was first used in 1988. It’s meaning is almost incomprehensible, which I think is why Facebook picked it. If you Google “meta”, you’ll get thousands of options. Good luck sorting them out.

Meta is intent upon dominating the coming Metaverse (aha! you say). I know we’ve been through memes, tropes and gender-neutral pronouns but now we must go further. Since you’re going to be seeing the grandkids soon it’s time to buckle down. According to Wikipedia, a sometimes-reliable source (except when it isn’t), the Metaverse is

a hypothesized iteration of the Internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets”

Just so we’re clear.

Merriam-Webster uses the word hegemony in its attempt to define Metaverse so I thought I’d just spare you that explanation.

You ask (I know you’re asking, or you would if you’d stop banging your head against the wall) what is this Metaverse thingy anyhow?

The Metaverse is the universe you’d live in if all you did was sit in a recliner. Virtually every facet of life could take place within the confines of the recliner except possibly eating real (not imaginary) food and dealing with the subsequent plumbing issues. Do you think this is an exaggeration? Think again. Let’s see what a typical day would look like for someone fully absorbed by the Metaverse.

  • Awaken after a relaxing sleep in a vibrating/massaging recliner

  • Have Door Dash bring Venti Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Scone from Starbucks

  • Work at service job telling customers that their stuff is stuck off Long Beach on a container ship

  • Check on automatic deposit of paycheck to online checking account

  • Have Zoom appointment with therapist

  • Get healthful lunch salad from Panera via Grubhub. Venmo tip to delivery person

  • Do chair aerobics with video class, unfortunately strain quads during reclining squats

  • Zoom friends after work for Tequila poppers, complain about work environment

  • Order case of Skittles from Amazon

  • Order KFC from Uber Eats, specify extra crispy and cole slaw

  • Play video golf at Augusta with Tiger Woods. Triple bogey the ninth hole, damn azaelas

  • Video chat with Mom, hear about Aunt May’s trip to the Grand Canyon—great except for searing heat and long lines

  • Put on Oculus Virtual Reality headset to visit Grand Canyon without heat or lines, take virtual mule ride to the bottom; afterwards, take Advil for saddle sores

  • Read chapter of Animal Farm on Kindle App. Fail to understand the metaphor.

  • Watch final season episode of Succession, think actor playing Ken is a little too into it and Roman is nuts

  • Cram in half hour of Netflix hit “Selling Sunset”. Wonder if there’s any mascara left in the world

  • Sleep in chair

I know that after reading about this typical day, many of you believe the Metaverse was modeled on your own life during the first months of the pandemic. Well, watch out. Here comes Omicron. Time to slip on the virtual reality headsets and set the recliner to horizontal.

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