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A Generation Of Facebook

2012-12-15


I recently watched a film called ‚??The Social Network.‚?Ě It took no time at all for me to fall in love with it, and I was not surprised to see it become nominated for several Academy Awards. The film tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of a social networking site called Facebook. Adult and youth audiences alike have responded enthusiastically to the film, appreciating both its more serious themes, such as the price of ambition, and simply the topic of their beloved website, Facebook. ‚??The Social Network‚?Ě has been hugely successful because it is centered on this phenomenon, a social media site that allows millions of users to build rapport through an online community.
Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard student and a brilliant computer programmer. Part of the reason he created Facebook was to use the project as a creative outlet. After viewing and analyzing ‚??The Social Network,‚?Ě I have concluded that Mark was also motivated by personal factors. Previous to the founding of Facebook, Zuckerberg was not a social butterfly by any means. He could sometimes be cold, calculating, and severe. During group outings, he never quite fit in, and when there was a party, he could almost always be found standing alone.
At the climax of ‚??The Social Network,‚?Ě Mark betrayed his best friend and roommate, Eduardo Saverin, by diluting his shares in the company down to .03%. He turned on his best friend, excluding him almost entirely from Facebook. This is proof that Mark was no good with relationships, a fact that brings into light his second motivation in founding Facebook. Mark needed to find a medium that allowed him to communicate with people comfortably and without misunderstanding. Facebook provided Mark with exactly that. With its help, he could build new relationships with people and easily maintain the ones he already had. While direct communication had been challenging for Mark, Facebook made the process easier by taking the concept of socialization and combining it with computers, a field Mark understood.
Hundreds and thousands of people with problems similar to Mark‚??s now had access to a portal that represented something of a social sanctuary. Communication was now made faster, simpler, and more efficient. Accumulating more than 500 million users since its creation in 2004, Facebook is likely the most culturally-relevant advance in the communication technologies field. Likewise, ‚??The Social Network‚?Ě owes much of its success to its relatable and highly-accessible subject matter. The film discusses a topic that nearly all of the public is familiar with. It is no wonder that it has its audiences raving.
Facebook has had a wildly profound impact on both American and global culture. The word ‚??Facebook‚?Ě has even been transformed into a verb in casual conversation. Young people in particular can be overheard saying things such as, ‚??We‚??ll catch up later; I‚??ll Facebook you a time and place to meet.‚?Ě Not only has the craze left its unique mark on the English language, but it has reared its head in advertisements as well. At the end of a television commercial, a product‚??s sponsor might ask that the viewers to ‚??like‚?Ě their product on Facebook. Regardless of where you look, it is evident that Facebook has thoroughly permeated American culture.
Critics of Facebook often claim that this new social media is taking the personalization out of human relationships. The bottom line is that nearly every brilliant idea has been criticized by its generation. Sometimes it is not until decades later that the idea is appreciated for its true worth. For example, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, there were people who reacted negatively. These critics thought any form of indirect communication was impersonal. How could people stand to talk to each other while in different rooms, or even in different houses? The thought troubled many, yet today telephones are completely commonplace. They are also deemed more convenient than they are impersonal. Telephones negated the need for travel when delivering news. One could merely pick up the phone and dial a number to relay a message. Facebook, while somewhat controversial in the present social climate, will likely be considered a great tool of convenience and efficiency by future generations.
Facebook encourages all of its users not only to keep in touch with their current friends, but also to cultivate new relationships. The website comes equipped with several tools to aid people in their search for new friends. For example, if user 1 shares a significant number of mutual friends with user 2, it is likely that these two users either already know each another in person, or that they have a vague idea of who the other is. Even if these two users are not in any way acquainted, they are likely to get along quite well. This assumption is based on the fact that they share mutual friends and therefore have similar tastes in people. Users can also judge whether they would get along with another user by comparing their own ‚??likes,‚?Ě or interests, with the other user‚??s. Facebook informs its users whenever they like the same television show, book, film, or band as another user. In this way, Facebook fosters friendship growth through a complex networking of similar interests.
In conclusion, Facebook is by far the most important innovation in the communications technology industry over the last ten years. It provides its users with a platform on which they can communicate quickly and conveniently with one another. Facebook makes maintaining friendships an effortless process and even encourages its users to create relationships with new people with similar friends and interests. Facebook has had a profound effect on American culture. An Oscar-nominated film was created to tell the story of the website‚??s eccentric inventor, and the word itself (‚??Facebook‚?Ě) has been used so frequently by the public that it has wormed its way into the English vernacular. It cannot be denied that social networking sites such as Facebook have defined the generation.