• Bola Kwame

If I Could Go Back In Time - A Rant About Mark Zuckerberg and The Metaverse

Metaverse presentation at Connect 2021

Yes, I also have many opinions and thoughts on the new image of Facebook. Seeing Zuckerberg in what looks like a trailer for the new season of Black Mirror left me a lot to think about.

However, none of those thoughts are about technology, Silicon Valley, or the inevitable machine apocalypse. It actually made me think about the last time I saw my grandmother.

Let me elaborate.

For several years I have had this thought: how far are we from being able to relive days of the past? Specifically, reliving memories. We have Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality. We only need to have the information about our memories.

If I can walk into a virtual room wearing VR glasses with a Detective Pikachu avatar, why can't I do the same with a realistic scenario?

Imagine a VR representation of your memories and relive them every time you want.

The Metaverse clip made me feel like we're not that far off. I am somewhere between accepting technological advances and going out with a sign that says 'THE END IS NEAR'. If you recognize me in the streets, please don't ask me for selfies. That would break my character.

Going back to my grandmother.

All this talk of a possible dystopian future made me think about memories, how they are so fragile, and how memory becomes less and less reliable. Things really happened the way you remember them?

This week's Write Here prompt fell like a glove. If you could relive one day from your past, what would it be?

Obviously, I think of many of them, but there is one that always comes to mind. As is evident with the intro of this piece, it is not the first time that I think about the subject.

If I could relive one day of my life, it would definitely be the last day I saw my grandmother. Which coincided with the last day she was alive. Which coincided with Mother's Day in 2009.

I know, it looks like a movie plot that makes you ugly cry at the theater.

My grandmother was almost 90 years old, she could not walk, and seeing her interned in clinics and hospitals was not a strange image for me. She had 11 children (seriously), so she had quite a few people around her who cared about her.

She had heart problems, which is taken very seriously at that age. So before any symptoms, my grandmother was interned as a precaution. I was only 13 years old at the time, so I didn't know how to recognize when they were serious health problems or when it was a precaution from my dad and my uncles and aunts.

That year, it was Mother's Day, and by tradition, we all went to my grandmother's house. However, she wasn't home, she was in the hospital. So her 11 children, many sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, and dozens of her grandchildren went to visit her.

Somehow, we managed to circumvent the security of the hospital, and breaking visiting rules, we were all in her room. You literally couldn't move from your place because you had a cousin or uncle on either side.

I remember my grandmother's face, she was pale and obviously tired, but her smile never faded. She was happy that we were all there with her. It was the weirdest mother's day.

The next day, it was Monday, and when I got back from school my parents told me that my grandmother passed away. She had a heart attack just past midnight.

It was as if she had waited for the day to end, to have one last Mother's Day with us.

I would like to relive that day. Make sure I remember it well, remember more details, find out how she feels this time knowing that it was a goodbye. See my grandmother's smile again.

Btw Zuckerberg really scares me.

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