“The Social Network”, sort of

I went to see The Social Network in Burlington a couple of nights ago, mostly because you apparently need to see it to be able have conversations, but also partly because I wanted to approach it from the standpoint of this class (see how it made me feel as a frequent user of Facebook, I guess) and hopefully write a blog post about it.

Well it turns out the movie isn’t really about Facebook, so much.  At least, I thought the role of this technology in the past few years would be more of a concern for the film, but Aaron Sorkin being a character dramatist and not a tech head / cultural scholar, it was really a movie about one messed up and (mostly) made up dude and how all his social psychoses would drive him to create a technology that ostensibly “brings people together” but has an ambivalence built into it that makes it potentially alienating.  Sorry, that sentence was too long.

Anyway, it didn’t really hail me as a user of Facebook in the way I thought it might (I almost thought I’d leave feeling implicated in some grand generational corruption).  But because of my starting goal, I did spend some time after the film thinking about the role of Facebook in my consumption of culture.  There are a few conspicuous examples: first, the message chain that I started to include all of my close friends who are fans of Lost that many of us actively tossed theories around in for seasons 4 through 6.  I much prefer this socially-based type of “forum” than the anonymity of most online forums I’ve bothered to check out, which I often find quite disturbing in the way they seem to be positively bursting with hatred.  Additionally, my main internet activity is related to keeping up with current music, and one of my primary ways of judging the buzz around certain bands or songs is in noticing them pop up in links or comments between various friends on my News Feed.  I think I have wide enough a variety of friends that I can get some reading in this way, and my knowledge of each of these people’s listening habits enables me to understand the likelihood of them listening to artists of varying obscurity in a way that reading anonymous blogs wouldn’t.  I think i could go on and on about this but it’s getting pretty late and I imagine I’ll post on related subjects in the future, so I’m gonna call it quits.  Probably go check Thefacebook before I go to bed though…