Thursday, November 11, 2010

The things you do to get out of the Fibro #3: Getting social

Last night, I went to see The Social Network with a group of friends. Very social for a person who generally sees her movies alone and unencumbered. Margaret and David (At The Movies) loved it, and so did I. An absorbing, disquieting flick that stayed with me all of today.

One of the other mums I went with admitted (at school pick-up) to have spent considerable time today Googling Mark Zuckerberg. We all agreed that Justin Timberlake was a revelation (who knew that Sean Parker was such a fakeozoid? And so pasty?). Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg, was so good he made my skin crawl and my mind explode at the same time. I don't know what Zuckerberg is like in real life, but I suspect we would not be friends. Not even on Facebook.

I admit that, much as when watching The Wire, it took me a while to get my 'ear in', so to speak. The opening scene - which Margaret and David have labelled an 'instant classic' - initially felt like it was being acted out in code. They talked fast, they talked quietly, they spoke in apparent non-sequiturs, and the bar was loud. It's worth hanging in for Aaron Sorkin's writing, though.

It also took me a while to get my eye in once the Winkelvoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer) appeared. At first, the thought that there could possibly be two such ridiculously good-looking men in the world scattered my thought processes. Once I worked out there was probably just one, I spent a lot of time trying to work out how 'it' was done, and trying to count the shots where they were on screen together. I know. I need to get out more.

As a person who has spent a lot of time on social networks this year - more time than ever before, thanks to this blog - one moment stayed with me. As Zuckerberg wrote his drunken blog post, calling his ex-girlfriend a bitch and comparing her to a farm animal, my friend K, sitting next to me, leaned across and whispered: "Do you think it will be this bad when our kids are older, or do you think it will get better?"

"Worse," I whispered back, fiercely. "Much worse."

I thought about what that ex-girlfriend's mum thought when she saw that blog post (I'm assuming she did). I thought about the wide, broad and many avenues for misadventure on the internet that await the unwary, the unknowing and the plain unlucky. Facebook may connect the world in a big, cool hug, but it also lays open lives.

Mark Zuckerberg is often quoted as saying 'the Age of Privacy is dead'. He said, in an interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington (January 2010), that Facebook's raft of security changes (which essentially made every user's information public unless they chose to follow a long list of instructions on how to make it private) were in response to what the company perceived as 'changing social norms'. In other words, we're all so comfortable sharing our lives online that we're happy to leave privacy behind for an open, public future.

I'm wondering if he feels the same now that an unauthorised, dramatised version of his own life has been played out on screen?

Don't you love a movie that makes you think?

Just to be social, I'm flogging my blog with Lori at RRSAHM this fine Friday. Pop over and join in!


  1. What an interesting post. I adore movies that make me think and having long into-the-night discussions abut them afterwards. I haven't seen this yet but I really, really want to.

    I really think that social media is going to completely change things for our children and how they operate. Absolutely fascinating.

    And if you want to know the secret of the twins, read this. Or if not, look away now.

  2. I am seeing this on Sunday and I am nervously excited aboout seeing it. I am an Aaron Sorkin fan. I am a social network fan. But I am slightly scared of the movie, still?

    And yes I do, I love movies that make me think...

  3. I absolutely LOVED the movie. I watched it Sunday night.

    It was everything that I love in movies and more. While I didn't analyse it to the extent you did, I did remember the moment where he was blogging.

    And it struck me, what I have said on my blog, will be there and googleable forever.

    As a result a while ago I did change my twitter name [as it had my last name in it] AND try not to give away too much personal information anymore due to my line of work.

    BUT it is scary to think of the rate that technology is exceeding at and not to mention how the laws just are not up to scratch.

    Great post.

  4. I tried to see it on Wed but arrived too I am still up in the air about it. Not sure even moreso since the SBS doc on how the Internet is changing the way we use our brains.
    Amongst the interviewees were Zuckerberg.
    It's been found that amongst those who've only ever known the Internet as a tool of communication (ie anyone born from around early 1990s) is processing & learning in more broken up/blocks/disrupted ways than us who have been able to concentrate for long periods on one task and learn in a more orderly way.
    I'm no scientist but a very experienced teacher & school principal & I can indicate experientially that's true. I also know now why I too find it harder than ever to sit & read a book- a formerly much loved event.
    Very interesting indeed!!
    Thanks for the blog.

  5. A friend of mine wanted to see this movie and I pooh-pooh'ed the idea, thinking that it sounded like way too lightweight a movie for the big screen. Your review has made me do a complete 180. Might have to check it out this weekend, sounds quite....compelling.

  6. Too much thinking required to wrap my head around the future of social networking. All I know is that at some point in the not to far future, the Status Update is going to bite back. x

  7. Great review. I am really interested in seeing this, might drag the husb there this weekend if I can tear us both away from the screen/s...

  8. OH dear ... makes me think of some of the things I've posted or responded too ... @KerriSackville's penii post being an example.
    I'd love to see the movie ... maybe next time I have a grown-up day to myself!

  9. Totally on my list of Must-sees. Great review - I will call to discuss once I have seen it x

  10. I'd really love to see this, but if my recent movie going history is anything to go by, it'll be out on DVD by the time I do!

  11. I'm really interested to see The Social Network. I know a lot of the backstory, but I think that, like you, the movie will make me think.

    I'm interested to see how things change. We're really the front runners of this whole blogging thing, so thinking about how we want things to be is sort of our job. We'll be setting the precendent for the next generation.

  12. Sounds like an interesting movie...must go see it. I'm not sure social networking has changed our lives for the better, on the whole - the older I get, the more I feel that.

    On the other hand, having discovered blogging then Twitter earlier this year - I've loved it..and 'met' lots of wonderful people. Just needs to be all kept in perspective, I think. 'Real' life is more important.

  13. I neeeeed to go see this. I like most things that get the Margaret & David seal of approval :)

    I think privacy is dead. I try to blog anonymously but it is becoming harder and harder to keep my name out of comments - there are worse things that could happen though. I'm not a gazillionaire so people knowing my name isn't gonna open me up to too much harm :P

  14. I'm quite keen to see this movie, but I'll wait for the dvd.
    I'm not sure I agree with the age of privacy being dead. I'm a very private person and there's very little I tell people about myself.
    On the other hand, if you're referring to "big brother" keeping his eye on everyone and having fingers in all pies, then you are quite right in saying privacy as we know it is dead.

  15. Loved this post! You are spot on in your thoughts and I share alot of them...Its all a love vs hate thing...I love all that I can do on the net but at the same time Im alittle nervous by what is attached to it!! things are never what they first seem...


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