Lessons From “The Social Network”

I just went to see the movie, “The Social Network” for the second time. This time, I saw it with two Generation iY students I love — my son Jonathan and his friend, Sally Callahan. They made some interesting observations I want to share with you here. I have no doubt, Hollywood dramatized the story. It is inspired by the true story of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, but has a bit of fiction mixed in just to make it more interesting. In any case, here are a handful of lessons my two “iY” friends observed afterward from the movie:

1. Mark Zuckerberg, the kid who couldn’t seem to buy a friend, created a network for 500 million friends. What irony. The movie ended with Mark (the world’s youngest billionaire from connecting friends) doing a friend request to his original girlfriend in Boston, and kept waiting for her to accept it. Our most passionate pursuits often come in the areas of our greatest pain and emptiness.

2. His incredible intelligence furnished a platform to serve people and create social networks, but in the end the whole thing became a fight about what each person will “get” not “give.” Greed gets in the way of the pure service our talents are supposed to provide to people. We get into trouble when we focus on getting, not giving.

3. Mark’s IQ was much larger than his EQ. His gift was bigger than he was. He tried so hard to get “accepted” by popular students at Harvard — rowing crew, clubs, fraternities, etc. But he wasn’t natural. The irony of the movie is that the founder of Facebook had the lowest social and relational abilities in his circle of contacts.

Did you see the movie? Did you make any observations?


Lessons From “The Social Network”