Review: The Social Network

If I had to imagine the person who created Facebook, I would imagine the Mark Zuckerberg of the movie The Social Network

Indeed, I would imagine an uncomfortable, social misfit eager for some kind of power--and especially the power to hurt people he can't own.  A player whose favorite pastime with the girlfriend is one-upping the girlfriend, routing her in every conversation. A frustrated social climber ready and eager to play and exploit those with money and social standing. A user bright enough to create Facebook and schizophrenic enough to justify every security gaffe that leaves users exposed and vulnerable for exactly as long as it takes for Whomever to get whatever information it wants from Facebook.

I would imagine a creepy, power-hungry freak who didn't care about whom he exposed or exploited on the way to wherever he wanted to go. 

Watching The Social Network on Sunday night, I did not imagine I was watching the biography of Mark Zuckerberg. I did not think for a moment there was a one-to-one correspondence between what was happening on the screen and what happened in the life of the Harvard students who created Facebook.

But  I did see a creative exploration of the question, What kind of person created Facebook--and what kind of person thinks it's a good use of time? 

Because I think Facebook is the antithesis of me, I was completely comfortable with the idea that Facebook's founder is an emotionally damaged social misfit--which is to say a greedy, selfish little bastard who doesn't care about whom he hurts or how badly.  Nevertheless, I was glad the movie was over when it was because all that bad karma on a Sunday night is not a good thing.

The Social Network has Facebook growing out of a young man's desire to hurt a young woman who (sensibly) spurned him. Can good come of that?  I don't think so. The movie also shows some avid Facebookers becoming obsessive and paranoid thanks to their living too closely to the pages they stalk. A good thing? When there's so much air to breathe out there in the real world, can it be?

The Social Network is a good movie that ended exactly when it should have. 

My prediction? When the sixth edition of the DSM comes out, Facebook will be a diagnosis. May the Pill People offer up a cure for it.

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