Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Social Network

The Social Network is incredibly insightful. I use Facebook every day and found the history behind it to be something well away from what I expected. I had read profiles on Mark Zuckerberg in Time and thought I had a general overall knowledge of him. This movie shows me how wrong I was.

Wendy and I started the movie thinking it was a documentary and were surprised to find that it was not, but a well done movie based on a true story.
Like others, I was sucked into Facebook by a friend. He had posted pictures of his new girlfriend and the only way I could see them was to sign onto the site. Having seen MySpace pages of friends, and hating them, I knew it wasn’t something I was going to get into. And yet, I did. See, as one “Time” article pointed out- Facebook is for old people.
Using Facebook I was able to reconnect with old classmates both from high school and college that I had failed to keep contact with. I would sometimes think “I wonder whatever happened to…” or, I would see someone in town that I knew from decades ago, say hello, chat a little bit, promise to stay in touch and know we wouldn’t but still wonder “How did they get where they are today? Do they like their job? What’s their political interest? Does she religiously watch The Real Housewives of Podunk, Illinois like I do?”
While I’m sure Facebook is fun for people in high school or college, it can’t hold a candle to the experience that Facebook gives us old folks. Who are you going to reconnect with when you’re in high school? Your best friends you see every day?
“Your status update: Going to the game tonight, anyone else?”
Pretty sure you can find that out by asking them during school…
While we both really enjoyed the movie, it could have also been called “Bill Gates Version II.” The storyline is almost identical. Socially awkward but brilliant geek “invents” something that makes him a billionaire. I use quotes around invents because it’s the exact same thing Bill Gates did, with the same type of personality. He took something that already existed (MySpace, Friendster) and improved on it immensely. He made it simpler to set up, to use and added important features other sites lacked. (Which is what Bill gates did with Dos, the mouse, and Windows.)
The story revolves around the initial idea for Facebook, the lawsuit from three fellow Harvard students that gave him the idea for Facebook to begin with, and Mark Zuckerberg’s baffling betrayal of one of his best friends. It also includes the standard Geek + Money = Easy Girls + Drugs + Minor Trouble With Police. Also identical to the Bill Gates story. Or say, anyone who comes into a lot of money suddenly.
I would recommend this movie to anyone, and, especially to anyone who uses Facebook. You’ll still use Facebook, but you’ll feel a little ickier doing it.

1 comment:

  1. great review. its great to read you again i have been out of touch with your writings didnt know you were back till recently.it sounds like everything in your life is on the upswing again which is awesome to hear. i was hoping to see you at the latest ptq in boston but famous authors and international magic players have to give the little things up sometimes i guess.