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The Social Network

October 2, 2010

The tagline to the movie, The Social Network, is “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” The producers of the movie actually released this tagline before Facebook had amassed 500 million users, confident it would.

I went to see the movie last night.  The reviews were spectacular, with Rotten Tomatoes even gave it a 97% rating, so I decided to spend my Friday night at the theater.  I had high hopes.

The movie was very well made and captivating.  The plot was driven by a pithy deposition written by the brilliant Aaron Sorkin and Jesse Eisenberg who played Mark Zuckerberg played him wonderfully.

However, I left the movie disappointed.  The director portrayed life at Harvard and in Silicon Valley (Sean Parker in particular) as glamorous and wild rather than nerdy and decidedly unglamorous.  The misrepresentation at the beginning of the film distracted me and made me question the validity of the rest.  All I can think about are the images of (Wellesley) girls being bused in for a debauched Final Club party.

While I do think working at Facebook would be fun, the company could not have succeeded without hardworking nerds led by the robotic Mark Zuckerberg.  To me it’s disrespectful to portray it as anything but.  The movie implied that he created Facebook (The Facebook, FaceMash) because of a girl.  While that’s a great Hollywood story, it seems unlikely.  The New Yorker seems to have a better grasp of the situation.

The C.E.O. of Facebook wants to create, and dominate, a new kind of Internet.

All that said, the movie was absolutely captivating and painted an interesting portrait of the network’s roots.  It’s pretty incredible how Zuckerberg was able to think so big to expand as far as it has.  While I use Facebook less and less, it is a real part of my life.

Go see the movie – let me know what you think.  If you aren’t interested, The Town was fantastic….

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