Skip to Main Content

Watch this video at YouTube.

I don’t do social networks. I just don’t. You can take your Facebook, your LinkedIn, your Bebo, Blogster, Classmates.com, Delicious, Foursquare, Meetup.com, MySpace, Ning, Twitter, your Zoopa and the rest and, well, share them with your friends.

Do you feel this makes me anti-social? Antiquated? Antidisestablishment? Personally, I think it means that I’d rather spend time with my real family, friends and colleagues.

Ah, but the movie, "The Social Network." I watched it this Sunday. It’s written by Aaron Sorkin of "West Wing" and directed by David Fincher—the man who brought you "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Se7en" and, of course, "Fight Club"—and it topped the box office as the weekend’s number one film at $23 million.

Andrew Johnson writes:

The rise of social networking may very well be the defining characteristic of this decade. The use of the internet not merely for commerce or website creation but as a hub for the vast majority of social interaction is a development of the times that has had a radical impact not only on the way we conduct business but on our day-to-day lives, down to every minute detail. Where we once had to work hard to exchange information about ourselves, it’s now at our fingertips at the click of a button. I used to have to think really hard to remember what each of my friends did for a living. Now, through sites like Twitter and Facebook, I might know what they had for breakfast this morning. The world is drowning not in any concrete substance, but in information itself, and the new film "The Social Network" shines a light on how we got here.

Marshall Fine notes that:

The tsunami of effusive praise has been gathering force about "The Social Network." By the beginning of September, it was being crowned the best movie of the year, the decade, the century—the best ever made!—in a lot of overheated reviews on the Internet and elsewhere. Allow me to demur a little and call that assessment premature. Not that I don't think "The Social Network" is a fine movie and certainly one that probably will be on my Top 10 list at year's end. It's smart, funny, well-acted and trenchant. But I have this funny tendency: I'd rather size up all of the films of the year before proclaiming one the absolute best. Call me cautious, but there you are.

Peter Rainer states:

"The Social Network," about Mark Zuckerberg and the knockabout beginnings of his creation, Facebook, is a prime example of an op-ed movie—a film so topical it transcends mere movieness. The filmmakers were probably thinking of Orson Welles's Charles Foster Kane when they created their own soulless mogul. They even provide Mark with his own version of "Rosebud," the key that supposedly unlocks his psyche. Mark, it seems, created Facebook to get back at a girl he still pines for in the end. This faux Freudian soppiness is a disservice to Mark's rapacity, but still it gave me pause: How many other jilted geniuses are out there poised to unleash their newfangled networking whammies on us?

My take is this: "The Social Network" seeks the same status in this first decade of the 21st century that "Wall Street" had over the 1980s. Whereas "The Social Network" is a solid film that attempts to chronicle the rise of a new digital currency while capturing the zeitgeist of the times and the personalities of the players, I found it was edifying but not moving. Maybe they should have dropped the "The," for "Social Network" had me itching to answer texts during the show.<>