Bill Maher mocked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday night in the wake of a recent announcement that the company is changing its name to Meta.
"Someone has to tell me why we keep allowing social media and our very lives as social creatures to be dictated by the most socially awkward person in history," Maher said of Zuckerberg during the "New Rules" segment of his Real Time program on HBO.
Noting that Zuckerberg introduced the new "metaverse" as "an embodied Internet where instead of viewing content you are in it," Maher quipped, "Because why spend hours typing on Facebook to argue with your brother-in-law about ivermectin, when your avatar can yell at his avatar in person?"
"It's easy: You just put on goggles, gloves and — I don't know, suction cups on your balls — and now you're in the magical land of the metaverse, because everyone looks cool with sh*t strapped to their head," Maher said. "In the metaverse, you can tour the pyramids or have a sword fight with a duck, all without leaving the comfort of your parents' basement."
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He went on to say he's worried that if society gets too far away from reality, it won't be able to find its way back.
"We just went through a pandemic. The last thing I want is more virtual, and that's what the metaverse sounds like it's going to be — the pandemic year, except forever," Maher said. "You have to ask yourself why does Mark Zuckerberg think living in a metaverse would be so much better? (It's) because look at him — the dead eyes, the lack of recognizable human features, the painted-on hair — he's already an avatar. I'm pretty sure that the person we think is Zuckerberg is a SIM, while the real one lives on a yacht staffed by a hundred beautiful women where he plays Pokémon GO all day. This is the worst kind of person to make the overlord of a new universe."
Finally, Maher pointed to a news report saying that three in 10 American males between the ages of 18 and 30 reported they weren't having sex, three times as many as 10 years ago. He claimed spending so much time on screens is fueling the phenomenon known as "incels," or involuntarily celibate people.
"It's not harmless. It never is when any society for any reason creates men who are cut off from women, and it's not going well here with the incels," Maher said. "It's become a toxic subculture of angry, misogynistic, digital eunuchs, and the metaverse is only going to make it meta-worse, because it's a vicious cycle. The more time you spend in the digital world, the more you suck at engaging in the real world, so the more your retreat into the virtual, which further atrophies your real social skills, including and most importantly getting laid."