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Breaking the walls: FB to get through reality hole

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses the developers in the annual F8 conference. Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg

More often than not, people use social media to escape from reality. They indulge themselves in online games and connect with people they miss from the far side of the world through its messaging application. We turn to social media to avoid the hard truths of life even for just a while. But what will happen if the social media creates a bigger picture of reality?

It’s a good day in Manila. People have gone to work, students took their examinations, employees reached their quota and even drivers earned their boundary for the day. While some people are bummed, there are those who have tons of work but still do not know how to deal with existential dread. The world we live in today has gone bad. Thus, people turn to social media to virtually find peace and happiness. 

In an era where fake news and filter bubbles are rampant, boundaries are set among people. The tools and platforms that should have been utilized to show the world as it happens are now being used to broadcast murder, suicide, torture and other deviant acts. 

Last April 19, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke the somber mood as he took the stage of the company’s annual F8 developer’s conference in San Jose, California. F8 featured new products and gave a glimpse into the future of Facebook. 

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform that it is assumed that almost everyone has Facebook account. People use Facebook to get connected with friends and family and businesses use it for advertising and marketing.

But unlike Apple’s fabled "reality distortion field," a term used to Steve Job's ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything even the impossible, Facebook does not distort reality but lacks the ability to recognize illicit activities. While it is busy augmenting reality, Facebook should pay more attention to what life is trying to reveal to its users.

Despite the evolution of Facebook, the company still has a blind spot. And this year's F8 touches on that as Facebook pushes for augmented reality or AR. 

Facebook said there are three ways in order to place the digital layers atop the real world. These are: (1) the ability to display information on the top of the world in front of you, (2) the ability to add digital objects and (3) the ability to enhance or alter existing objects. 

Facebook went into the reality hole. It peddled Facebook Spaces, a new social virtual reality platform that helps you escape the world while experiencing it too. It is where real and virtual worlds collide. 

With Facebook Spaces, people can make memories and hang out with friends in a more fun, interactive virtual environment. The said tool is said to be promising but one thing is for sure, people will use it to take advantage or harm others. 

This is the reality. And it is important that we understand the vastness of the Internet. “If you build it, Nazis will come,” they say. 

Considering that Facebook is aware that these tools might be abused, they should do planning ahead should crisis arise. 

As the days grow tougher and the people grow smarter, the reality cannot be obliterated. Even now, the social media that we use to disconnect from reality is continuing to break barriers that will show what life is really about. You can run from reality but you cannot hide from it.

Reality is there, just like the moon and stars. 

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