In Response to “The Social Network”

To be completely honest, while David Fincher’s film “The Social Network” was well-made, (the acting, in particular, was excellent and very believable), I do not think I would bother to watch it again.

Throughout the film, the point-of-view constantly shifts between the main storyline and two different legal proceedings, both of which I found quite difficult to follow until the very end of the movie. Rather than attempting to understand the intricacies of what the lawyers were talking about, I found myself having conversations with my roommates about how unlikeable the characters were as a result of their misogyny, entitlement, and self-righteousness.

Misogyny was a constant theme depicted in Mark Zuckerberg’s rise, in fact. At the beginning of the film, viewers find Zuckerberg in the middle of a break-up with then girlfriend, Erica Albright, (a fictional stand-in for his real college girlfriend), because he had been disrespecting her by stating that she had only gotten into the club they were in because she had probably “slept with the bouncer”. He also implies that she is less intelligent than he is because she goes to BU, rather than Harvard, as he does. When Zuck arrives back at his dorm post-break-up, he spends hours spewing things reminiscent of what one could find on r/niceguys to his personal LiveJournal blog. Later on, Zuck faces his first big controversy, which surrounds a website he created that rates every girl at Harvard based on their attractiveness using surveys distributed to and gathered from other male students.

The movie also portrays Zuckerberg, a man who I already greatly dislike, as somehow even more annoying. He constantly gives one-word answers, talks about how smart he is, corrects anyone who is even slightly wrong, and destroys the only friendship he has in his own self-interest. While all of this establishes college Zuckerberg as a grade-A neckbeard, the film nonetheless glorifies him as a kind of modern tech messiah, showing that while he is flawed, he is “not a bad person”. The movie takes on an attitude of, ‘he may be asshole, but at least he’s not wrong,’ and the ending of the film seems to imply that Zuckerberg may not have to take accountability for screwing Eduardo Saverin over, (which includes allegations of animal abuse), because Saverin is the one telling the story. Interestingly, this ending does bring into question the reliability of the storyteller, but the fact that Zuckerberg is constantly able to reverse the consequences of his actions reveals that as long as a person is smart, apathetic, or rich enough, they’re impenetrable.

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Mady May

Mady May

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Communication and Digital Studies/Studio Art student, Lead Writing Consultant, Rocky Horror enthusiast, fashion lover, daughter, sister, and girlfriend.