movie: the social network

Movie: the social network.

Since this movie was released, people have been telling me that I should see it, and that I’d really enjoy it. This is perhaps because I’m an Aaron Sorkin fan (the writer and executive producer of the West Wing) and a David Fincher fan (the director of Fight Club, Panic Room and Zodia) and I work in social media.

It’s based on real-life events that led to the creation of facebook, and a couple of lawsuits that were made against Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a clever writing device, and the jolts between the depositions and the events being talked about work well to draw the viewer in, and meant that a two hour film flew by.

Lots of ink has been spilled on the movie: its apparent mysogyny, whether Zuckerberg created the college experience online because he was never able to experience it himself, and I won’t go into those areas.

For me, it was a movie that brought home the fact that my twenties are over. It also made me – briefly – consider the wisdom of setting coding aside as a career with its glamorising of the coding process. The characters in the movie had any number of choices, but they made ones that devalued friendship, and chose power and lifestyle over making a meaningful connection with people.

That the world has been significantly altered by facebook (at 500M members it’s approaching a double-digit percentage of world population) cannot be denied, but has the world been improved? Is public discourse richer? Is human interaction more meaningful? Or has it given us shorter attention spans, and made us value quantities of friends over depth of connection?

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