The Social Network: Money vs Friendship (Feat. David McNeill)

A Method To the Madness Dec 10, 2020

David Fincher once again proves his directing prowess with his semi-autobiographical film about the creation of Facebook. We discuss all things social media, how this film portrays Facebook founder, Zuckerberg, and the beautiful impartiality of this film.

Patrick: In the decade following this movie's release, the social media paradigm has evolved a lot, right? I think it's interesting how this setting of the American fraternity / college culture seems to have shifted worldwide to Instagram, because is that not what it is? There are parties they hold in, I don't know about Australia but definitely in the U.S., of only allowing attendees if they have over ten thousand followers, or something like that.

David: Yep they have those here. I know people who go to shit like that.

Patrick: Yes, so this exclusivity has migrated.

Michi: They're owned by the same people though.

Patrick: Yeah I know, but my point is that there's this superficiality that's always existed. It's evolved maybe, but it's interesting to connect it to Zuckerberg. Should all the blame be put on him? All he did was make a medium for all this to transition to, really.

Michi: What are we blaming him for exactly?

David: Social media transitioned at a point to being about in-groups and out-groups. Facebook was the spark in that powder keg. In the same way that Myspace took music from being owned by record labels to something (the music) being a democracy. In the same way I think Facebook took social media from being about socialising, to being about performing. You're right, 'The Facebook' is conceptually fine, but the context under which it was created, which is the prestige, the number of friends you have, the relationship status, and the overall environment in which it was created, naturally infected the product. It became the thing that social media means.

You're exactly right, those parties where you need x amount of followers- I don't think it's his fault, because he didn't know any better. I think that's one of the things this film portrays eloquently. It never alleviates the blame from Mark, but it definitely points out that this kid didn't know any better. He literally was just trying to get laid.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Please take a moment and review the podcast where you find it. It really helps.

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Patrick Lovern

Patrick Lovern is the co-host of A Method To The Madness podcast. An aspiring filmmaker, with a passion for all philosophy; religious, scientific, artistic, and otherwise.

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