The odd thing about watching The Social Network was how miserable the formation of Facebook seems to have made everyone. I had imagined that I would be watching a wildly optimistic world which mirrored the fun and energy that have attracted 500m to it.
Instead the film portrayed the network’s genesis as a series of battles between preppy students , their lawyers and the bankers and internet spivs wishing to get in on the act. Mark Zuckerberg‘s creation didn’t even give him a means of getting back in his old GF’s good books.
I watched the film with my 12 year old child. I stress the word “child”. He commented that it was unusual to see a film where there was no obvious goody.
My child has the virtues of being witty, pleasant and is a talented footballer and musician.
He has run up a multi-thousand pound debt leaving his I-phone on worldwide roaming on a two week rugby tour of South Africa.
In his short social media career he has got himself thrown out of Club Penguin and Facebook.
Many of the frustrations that Mark Zuckerberg experienced building his network find parallels in my bringing up a family. I’ve determined to learn a little from these mistakes.
Zuckerberg’s genius as a programmer was matched by his determination not to sell out to advertisers or to use the parlance of the film “to monetize” his baby.
I am fortunate in not having to send my child down the mines or up a chimney just yet. However his revenue generating capabilities will be diminished by the impending cut in child benefit and I’ve got a good few years of school and university fees to come.
He has expressed a wish to become a journalist and claims he has his own blog (which I am not being given a link to).
What guidance can my readership give me (other than getting him to pay his own phone bills )