So last night husband and I saw The Social Network. As you know, I've been waiting for this movie all year, and it didn't disappoint. Great writing of course, Aaron Sorkin is fantastic. The directing was eh. Didn't hate it, but it wasn't amazing. Acting was great. Now after seeing the movie, which of course isn't a perfect non fiction piece, and reading some interviews with Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, and some interviews about him with people who know him, I've come up with a few things I can say are certain.
1. He has zero social skills. That makes him an asshole, but the kind of asshole you feel sorry for. I guess that's why Facebook appealed to him so much, because he doesn't seem to be comfortable with people.
2. He doesn't care about money. Often in the movie, and often in print, it's implied that money isn't the issue for him. No doubt, the guy's a genius, so I think he always expected money, no matter what he did in life.
3. Bad press personally affects him. A reporter told Aaron Sorkin that West Wing is one of Zuckerberg's favorite shows. Aaron Sorkin said he wished he hadn't told him that. A few days later the same reporter told this to Zuckerberg, and I assume he realized that the film was going to be not so nice, so he removed West Wing from his list of liked TV shows on Facebook (according to Jose Antonio Vargas. The show is back on Zuckerberg's list). With this movie, even more people will despise him, even if the movie isn't completely fair. This is a nation of people who still don't think the President was born in America, even though there is documentation to prove it. Someone once told them that he wasn't, so they believe it. There's no chance that Zuckerberg's $100 million donation or a fluff piece in the New Yorker is going to change everyone's mind. That makes me a bit sad for him.
4. He desperately wanted/wants to be cool. And to a lot of people he is. A lot of people equate cool with rich, smart, powerful, clever. I am not one of those people. Cool people are nice people. Good people. People who don't steal ideas. People who don't rip off a friend (though the movie seems to emphasize that a bit more than was true). People who aren't constantly condescending. People who don't try to sell other people's privacy. People who don't put "I'm CEO, bitch" on their business cards (yes, it's true). Who said you weren't dude?
But is the joke on all of us? He created something that we can't help but use, even though our gut instinct("THESE PEOPLE DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR LIFE!") tell us not to. We use it to push our blogs, our businesses, our bands. Are we using him or is he using us? I wonder if the people he thinks are cool think he is. Probably not. And that's why he needs a hug.