The Social Network – Don’t Believe The Hype

What’s the solution to getting dumped? Create a website where you can talk about people and never have to talk to them. That’s the lesson in the highly hyped movie The Social Network.

The movie opens with the now famous Mark Zuckerberg (nicely played by Jesse Eisenberg) getting dumped by a very pretty young girl, Erica (Rooney Mara – the new Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). You can’t help but think – this socially stunted, boardering on rude, incredibly awkward guy actually has a girlfriend? He actually found someone who wants to spend time with an emotionally halted nerd who’s obviously clueless when it comes to human beings (mainly girls), but a genius when it comes to calculus? Are the poor girls at Harvard that desperate? Eww.

The hype surrounding this movie is truly ridiculous. David Fincher (Benjamin Button, Zodiac, Fight Club) is a good director and Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, American President, A Few Good Men) is a decent screenwriter. But the combination of these talents does not automatically propel this movie to extraordinary. The acting is solid. But my biggest complaint is that Zuckerberg is at one moment a shy, awkward geek and the next is a sharp-tongued, assertive and aggressive tyrant. This is made possible by the incredibly unrealistic dialogue that has made Aaron Sorkin famous. The lines are cutting and entertaining, but totally unrelatable when it comes to character growth and transition.  This was a criticism for all those West Wing Episodes with the fast walking that was parodied on Mad TV. Hilarious by the way.  But then there is the greed and corruption that steps in the story with the appearance of Scott Parker, (Justin Timberlake) the founder of Napster that highlights the earning potential of the little website that talks at people.

Don’t get me wrong, I use Facebook. It’s been nice to let people know little snippets of what is happening in my life. But I also don’t have hundreds or thousand of “friends”. I think South Park explains and treats the issue best in the episode YOU HAVE 0 FRIENDS, more than I ever could in a blog post.

But I will admit, although an avid user, I am weary of social media. I am weary that these horny guys from Harvard – some of the brightest students in the country – didn’t want to work on their communication skills. They just wanted to find an easier way to talk about people and not to people. I am leary that this easy way out results in a blurred sense of right and wrong. Especially in the wake of Rutger’s University student, Tyler Clementi killing himself after his roommate posted footage of him being with another man on the Internet.  I know…I know…Rutgers University is reaching to prove my point.  But still…it’s worth thinking about…and still heartbreaking.

Don’t believe the hype that this movie is a journey in the revolution in communication. The Social Network is a story in just how far we have all come from actually speaking to others…now we just announce.