This article originally appeared on November 3, 2021 at Baptist News Global.
On the heels of the recent whistleblower accusations against Facebook, the social media company has decided to change its primary organizational name and logo.
Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted the irony of the name-change timing during the launch of Meta, Facebook’s new parent company brand. “With all the scrutiny and public debate, some of you might be wondering why we’re doing this right now,” he acknowledged. “The answer is that I believe that we’re put on this earth to create. I believe that technology can make our lives better. We live for what we’re building, and while we make mistakes, we keep learning and building and moving forward.”
Late-night comedians have had a field day with the name change. Jimmy Fallon joked, “This feels like when there’s an E. Coli outbreak at a pizza place, and they just change the name from Sal & Tony’s to Tony & Sal’s.” Stephen Colbert added: “So, we’ve reached the part of the movie where the corporation creates their own virtual world. What do you say we skip the whole robot uprising to harvest our organs and just jump straight into the Thunderdome?”
Allison Morrow wrote for CNN: “No amount of corporate re-branding should let Zuck or anyone else off the hook for the real, tangible harms their product has manifested and continues to propagate without consequence.”
But whatever one feels about Zuckerberg, Facebook or the role social media has played in our lives over the past decade, the vision Zuckerberg laid out for Meta goes far beyond a simple face-saving rebrand. His vision ultimately is about controlling evolution itself.
The evolution of connection
In his introductory address, Zuckerberg explained: “Our mission remains the same. It’s still about bringing people together. … We are still the company that designs technology around people,” adding the most important experience of all is “connecting with people.”
But while the mission and the company remain the same, the way these connections happen is evolving.
The new Meta website opens with the statement: “Connection is evolving and so are we. The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. Our company’s vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future.”
Whatever the metaverse might be or become, Meta’s repetition of the word “evolving” and “evolution” should be noted. On its community page, Meta says it is about “coming together to connect and create change.” … “People are using Meta to connect and strengthen their communities.” … “We change the game when we find each other.” And people connecting “lift up their communities.”
Whatever the metaverse might be or become, Meta’s repetition of the word “evolving” and “evolution” should be noted.
These statements are not simply platitudes meant to target a younger, socially conscious audience. They tap into the story of the cosmos as an evolution of transcending wholeness.