Voices: Mark Zuckerberg’s interview with Joe Rogan was one of the most excruciating things I’ve ever seen

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For someone who invented social media, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg did not appear a big fan of the monster he helped create during an excruciating interview with Joe Rogan.

Unlike fellow tech titan Elon Musk, Mr Zuckerberg did not allow himself to get too loose, smoke marijuana, or carry out any other antics that could have caused Meta’s share price to slump dramatically.

Instead, the buttoned-up billionaire tried to play it cool with the controversial UFC commentator and eagerly discussed his love of martial arts, specifically jujutsu.

For the Silicon Valley entrepreneur told the muscle-bound podcaster that he too is motivated by physical activity.

“I hate sitting in front of my desk, I feel that if I’m not active I’m just wasting away,” he said

“My energy level and mood and how I interact with the world is based on ... its so physical. I don’t believe we are just brains in a body, our physical being and actions we take there are as much of kind the experience of being human.”

And while most of us were stuck at home during the pandemic, Mr Zuckerberg spent much of it at his family ranch in Kauai, Hawaii, where he owns a controversial 1,500-acre estate and has clashed with locals.

“I spent a lot of time down in Kauai early on. I got really into surfing and hydrofoiling and I would get up early and go and do that and then be really refreshed for my day of meetings,” he said. “That is not something I could do in Palo Alto.”

Mr Zuckerberg appeared on Rogan’s show largely to promote the Metaverse, and in doing so insisted that the AR and VR technology he is developing can help people leave big cities that don’t “have your values”.

“Imagine if you didn’t have to move to some city that didn’t have your values in order to be able to get all the economic opportunities, that would be awesome,” Mr Zuckerberg told Rogan.

“So in the future where you can use AR, VR, and teleport in the morning to the office and show up as a hologram, I think that’s going to be pretty sweet, right? It will unlock a lot of economic opportunity, for a lot of people.”

But mostly Mr Zuckerberg came across as a man who would prefer to be left alone to develop new technologies and not be dragged into the problems caused by social media networks, telling Rogan he did not have time to use them.

“Me personally I am just doing so many things that in practice that there are not (enough) hours in the day,” he said.

“My kids, I have not really had to think about it quite as much as they are pretty young, six and five, so they use it. I want them to use technology for different things, I teach them how to code, it is an outlet of creativity.”

And he told Rogan that social media was good if you used it for “engaging with someone” and “building relationships” but not if “you are just sitting there and consuming stuff.”

He also had some shade for Twitter, saying “I find that it’s hard to spend a lot of time on Twitter without getting too upset.

“On the flip side, I think Instagram is a super positive space. I think some of the critiques we get there is that it’s very curated and potentially, in some ways, overly positive... It’s easy to spend time there, and kind of absorb a lot of the positivity.”

He also admitted that he dreads checking his phone in the morning, because of all the headaches the company gives him.

“My sort of day is, you wake up in the morning look at my phone, get a million messages that have come in, its usually not good,” he told Rogan.

“People reserve the good stuff to tell me in person, right? So it’s like what’s going on in the world that I need to pay attention to? So it’s almost like every day you wake up you are punched in the stomach.”

Zuckerberg also admitted that like anyone else, working from home has its own difficulties, including interruptions from his family.

“I have this thing where I will be in zone-flow concentration and my wife will ask me some basic question and I lose my flow, and from her perspective, it is not a big deal, but that is not how it works”.

He ended up the interview by awkwardly acknowledging that parts of the internet think he may be a robot, following his appearance before Congress in 2018.

Rogan told him that he did not drink water like a normal human being and invited him to prove that he could.

“The Senate testimony is not exactly an environment that is set up to accentuate the humanity of the subject,” Zuckerberg told him.

“If you’re up there for six or seven hours you’re going to make some face that is worth making a meme out of.”