The Social Network and the sacrifice of community

socialnetwork_posterToday as I was flying out to see some friends I finally got the chance to watch the movie The Social Network. If you’re not familiar with the story it’s a moderately factual representation of the story of the founding and development of Facebook. There are so many things in this movie to talk about, but the thing that struck me most was how the fictionalized Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) sacrificed his best – and perhaps only – friend for this website. Some would think that he did it for the money and recognition, but in the end it seems he was just hurt by what a former girlfriend told him as she broke up with him.  He was so focused on making this website so big and wonderful that he was willing to sell out a friend.  In the end he’s alone – the girl isn’t responding to him and his friend has sued him for millions.

In his friend, he had someone who would go with him through thick and thin. His friend’s devotion to the project was questioned – in spite of being the money behind it. How easy it is to find a reason to question someone when they are not allowing us to get to what we want. The friend in this case was being cautious, which is not at all what Mark was going for. They were probably not matched well to go into business together and the way it ended up was probably inevitable, but who’s to say that it couldn’t have been prevented.

The community that we have is really all that any of us have. Whether that community is family or friends or co-workers. When we see them as a detriment to our ambition we start treading on thin ice. The sacrifice of community is almost never worth it. Occasionally a new, better community is found. But in my experience and observations it usually ends in a lonely person who, depending on how big their ego is, ends up crawling back to the community they sacrificed. As I watched the movie there were glimmers of points where these two guys could find connection again, but Mark’s ego got in the way. Sad really. I hope he finds a friend who’s as devoted as the friend he sacrificed.

I have no idea how much of this film is based in reality and how much was manufactured by the writer. The real Mark Zuckerberg seems like a decent enough guy. He got married recently, so he seems to have found some sort of community. I hope for you that you consider your own ambition before making the ultimate sacrifice of your community.

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