A Communication Blog.

Mark Z.’s Social Network (or lack thereof)

Posted on: October 2, 2010

          The Social Network is a movie that on first impression probably doesn’t sound too exciting. It is about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the beginnings of the social networking website. I first thought it was going to be a documentary chronicling the advent of Facebook and its exponential growth or something along those lines until I read more about it in Time magazine and Wikipedia. While the movie is obviously about Facebook and how it started, it focuses on Zuckerberg, especially his failed relationships with various parties, including a girlfriend, a business partner, and school mates. In fact, after watching the movie (or maybe just reading about it), you would think of Zuckerberg as one who has failed terribly in communication.

         Zuckerberg was an awkward loner in Harvard College whose relationships with his fellow peers were not just unsuccessful, but downright awful. For example, the movie begins with his break up with girlfriend Erica, who dumps him after stating that being with him was akin to being with a Stairmaster. While the earlier stages of Knapp Model of Relational Development weren’t portrayed in the movie, we can safely state that the couple is at the coming apart phase and to be precise, stage 10, Terminating.

          We can also examine the relationship between Zuckerberg and his best friend, Eduardo Saverin. Tension arose when the business partnership, which was what cemented the two, was threatened with the introduction of Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster during a meeting. While Saverin was wary of Parker, Zuckerberg was keen on having him join Facebook as they shared the same ideals. This difference in perception (incompatible goals) eventually led to conflict, when Zuckerberg insisted on including Parker in their partnership, against Saverin’s opinion. His ability to resolve this conflict was dysfunctional, evident in his decision in cutting down Saverin’s one third share in Facebook to less than one percent and therefore resulting in Saverin’s lawsuit against him.

         It is ironic, as stated in the tagline from the first picture above, that this man has had more than 500 million “friends” but in reality, has probably burnt more bridges than formed. His outright betrayal of Saverin and the unscrupulous way in which he stole the original idea for Facebook from three Harvard school mates merely demonstrate his disability to realize the importance of communication, especially conflict management. However, it cannot be denied that there is a possibility Zuckerberg did realize the consequences of his actions, but chose to ignore them in the pursuit of wealth and status, something the movie did hint on. After all, the same man chose to set up the somewhat degrading Facebook predecessor Face Mash, which allowed the Harvard population (but mostly aimed at the males) to rate pictures of female students online, in order to raise his social status. The movie, based solely on the director and screenwriter’s opinions and completely unaffiliated with Facebook or any significant personnel related to it, could still be skewed in order to dramatize events. Therefore, the audience has to discern between myth and fact.

Related links:
Official Page of The Social Network
Movie’s Wikipedia page
Interview with Vanity Fair


8 Responses to "Mark Z.’s Social Network (or lack thereof)"

Haha I think that this sort of un-do all we had learnt about the importance of communication and teamwork. Despite so, i still think they are very important and this guy is most likely the one in a I do not know how many examples who is sucessful without the two.

yeah. if the movie did portray the events accurately and he really is as much of an a-hole as it describes him, then i guess he sacrificed his morals to get to where he is. its not up to us to judge but you cant deny its quite sad. im quite curious about the movie anyway, its been getting rave reviews. oh btw i watched the devil movie already! haha.

Haha ya I want to catch the movie too! Devil is not bad right? Did you guess who’s the devil correctly? Yes I think someone who’s sucessful in such a manner that he no longer have any friends is really sad.

I think this movie will shape a different image about the creator of facebook! Also, now i know who created it! haha! Interesting to some extent but i think i will fall asleep while watching. How true is the story? we really cannot tell.

Even though he has high IQ and low EQ, he is a successful man. Given a choice, I would have his intelligence and ability to create something. As a human, flaws will always be existing there and will take some time to correct it. Well, after him will we see a next new social media platform coming up anytime? Who knows, might be you or someone we know.

This movie is interesting. It talks alot about interpersonal communication. Firstly with his girlfriend, the dissolution of their relationship, then his bestfriend, then in the group of many friends, then about relationships in cyberspace, then about enemies. It shows us the reality of things, and shows us the big picture. although it is sad that he lost his best friend after making the company so successful, it also proved that friendship takes time and energy to maintain. However, with such a great number of friends online, one is unable to use that time to maintain better relationships with their closer friend. I think what is more important is the choice one makes between having many friends (online friends do not have much of an interpersonal relationship) and having a few close ones whom you can rely on.

Hi friend!

I think the movie really shows the selfish, materialistic side of our generation. There are people out there who would do anything to earn fame and fortune, and the old teaching of the “price of fame” goes unheeded. Nonetheless, he did choose this path, so now i guess he’s happy.

This movie really illustrated how relationships can turn sour with varying perceptions of achieving a common goal. Sometimes, despite having open communication channels, thoughts and interests will still clash due to personal differences and the lack of the give-and-take mentality among business partners or friends. This movie will definitely be an eye-opener for friends who intend to start a business or for those who decide to venture on a project together.

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  • None
  • Alicia: This movie really illustrated how relationships can turn sour with varying perceptions of achieving a common goal. Sometimes, despite having open comm
  • Olivia: I think that the use of mass media and new media technologies actually constitute a generation gap. The older generation, most of whom are unaccustome
  • Olivia: Hi! I would just like to say that American, or rather western societies may not be as liberal as they seem. Some religious groups, such as christia


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