The Wall Street Journal Opinion section publishes a series of editorials written by students called Future View.
I am technically a student ostensibly with a future, albeit on a time shift unlikely to be what the Journal editors had in mind.
Nonetheless, I found their most recent question interesting enough to make a 250-word submission:
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that we will all soon move into a meta-verse, with our business and even personal interactions taking place in an ever-more realistic virtual space. Should we welcome this, or flee from it back to the physical world?
Buy crypto, you future travelers of the Metaverse
The fake currency will quickly become the only currency in your new fake life.
Invest heavily in companies that make drugs and supplies to treat high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; you’ll likely have both conditions pumping in high fruticose corn syrup, super-caffeinated energy drinks right into the blood stream by IV drip to stay online without pause.
Get a comfortable chair, preferably a bariatric model with bathroom facilities built into the mechanism. You’ll be in that chair until the Matrix — er, Metaverse — has used up all your cash and biological matter that will eventually become the power source for the Metaverse.
The Metaverse is like the Hotel California: You can check out, but you can never leave.
Why would you?
You’ll be living out whatever fantasies the almighty Algorithm has decided you want.
You won’t want to miss a moment of the place where your every confirmation bias is confirmed as reality.
Rage and rant in whatever political extremism you prefer. All fools are welcome — if their crypto transfers clear on time.
Participation trophies are now first-place trophies.
Everybody is Tom Brady forever, married to the supermodel you made up in a program the Metaverse sold you in microtransactions.
Oh, and those investments you made before you went in?
You better hope they pay off big, because if there’s anything Meta’s ancestor, Facebook, has taught us: There’s a price for everything whether you know you’re paying it or not.
Daniel P. Finney wrote for newspapers for 27 years before being laid off in 2020. He teaches middle school English now. He writes columns and podcasts for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating $10 a month to help him cover the expenses of this site.
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Nicely written, albeit sad. It isn’t how I envisioned life in the US as I purchased my first Mac in 1990 and discovered Usenet News, on the Internet; before commercialization. I would vote for your submission. (I don’t read the WSJ; sadly my non-existing vote will count for naught.)