Mark Zuckerberg will be hitting the road with his wife Priscilla Chan in tow as part of his latest “personal challenge.”
The Facebook CEO plans to visit and meet locals from every state to find out how Americans are “living, working and thinking about the future.” Judging by his post, Zuckerberg’s trips will see him host talks at universities, visit his company’s offices, meet with individuals from the public and private sector, and even visit places on the recommendation of the Facebook community.
Announced via his Facebook page, the CEO’s new year’s resolutions of sorts have grown increasingly ambitious over the years. In the past, Zuckerberg’s personal challenges have seen him run 365 miles, learn Mandarin, and build a digital assistant for his home.
Although Zuckerberg has always touted his company’s greatest virtue as its ability to help connect people, his latest challenge will see him ditching the online world to get some real-life experience.
In his Facebook post, he writes of the societal “division” created by technology and how it can only be used as a positive force for change by making it “work for everyone.” Zuckerberg goes on to describe 2016 as a “tumultuous” year that unearthed a sense of division in the country, with a lot of people not receiving the benefits that have come from technology and globalization.
The term tumultuous could also be used in regards to the year Facebook just witnessed. The company’s detractors have blamed the social network for flaming the division Zuckerberg articulates in his message (courtesy of its algorithmic echo chamber and hyper-partisan and bogus news crisis).
Zuckerberg previously lashed out at his company’s critics by claiming that those who allege Facebook had a hand in “swaying” the election display a “lack of empathy” with American voters. Now he is planning to meet Americans from all walks of life, much like a politician on a campaign trail.
Considering a recent court filing by his company’s investors revealed that Zuckerberg has ambitions to run for office, this road trip could see the CEO get some much-needed practice for a change of career. Viewed from that perspective, his post suddenly seems a lot more statesman-like.
Zuckerberg claims he will be posting another message on Wednesday about “how everyone can join in” with his challenge. As in the past, he will likely keep everyone updated with his progress throughout the year.