THE SOCIAL NETWORK
(2010, Sony, PG-13, 121 min.)
The other night I returned to my laptop from watching “The Social Network.” I stopped by my usual favorites; my fantasy football team, The Onion, ESPN, Deadspin and Mgoblog. However, I hesitated when it came to checking my Facebook, I felt kind of dirty. I then saw that one of my friends posted some Halloween photos and the disgust and hesitation quickly passed.
Since the debut of the film “The Social Network,” directed by David Fincher, the conversation about Facebook and other networking sites has exploded, or in terms of internet slang you would say it‘s “trending.” Specifically, the aim of these discussions are directed at Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg, his character, and whether or not one should deactivate their Facebook account. The truth of the matter is he’ll be fine and when it comes to deleting your Facebook… you won’t.
After watching the film, the initial reaction by most is an overwhelming sense of “what the hell?” The movie is entertaining, fast paced and of course controversial. Zuckerburg’s character is also in question. A week before the debut of “The Social Network” he donated $100 million to New Jersey public schools. It could be a coincidence.
But whether you believe that Zuckerburg stole the concept for Facebook from the Winklevoss brothers while a student at Harvard is completely irrelevant. As Zuckerburg claims in the film, “I didn’t steal anything, I used a different code.” He truly believes this.
Whether you believe him, like him or hate him, it just doesn‘t matter. One thing is clear after seeing “The Social Network” and that is Zuckerburg has little to no care for money. He fought the idea of ads being on Facebook and has refused numerous buyouts, including one for $1 billion from Yahoo.
The only thing that Zuckerburg cares about is his legacy and how he’s perceived by the youth culture. Zuckerburg has not endorsed the film, and has said in numerous interviews that he probably won’t see it.
Facebook now has the number one social network and the most well received film of the season. For God sakes the film has Justin Timberlake in it (playing Shawn Fanning founder of Napster). If anything Zuckerberg is secretly stoked.
He wants to be cool, and selling his company or charging a fee to use Facebook is not cool.
The underlining theme of the film is that Zuckerburg is without a doubt a child in need of reassurance. Even the title of the film, “The Social Network” is screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s way of being ironic. Zuckerburg wants more than anything to be cool and have friends. Yet Facebook is inherently unsocial.
Whatever take we have on Zuckerburg and Facebook, it’s clear he knows his “brainchild” is too cool to delete.