I just watched The Social Network, about two weeks after having downloaded it.
A few things to say….
I am so glad I followed my initial intuition and did not become a part of Facebook. As its popularity grew it was not my contrarian nature that turned me off to it, but something mildly insidious about the way people presented the idea and its appeal to me. If you’ve ever been asked to try coke or heroin, and seen that strange buzzing energy emanating from someone as they tell you how good it makes you feel…then you know what I’m talking about here. Or even, if you’ve ever been in a questionable situation and have felt peer pressure to do something that you had to pause and think about, that’s the same as I felt about Facebook from day one. As the movie attempts to portray and does a great job of showing, there is a price to pay for the realizing of one’s dreams ‘at any cost’. Somehow in the connecting of all this ‘social life’ a great deal of the humanity was lost.
And obviously this was not done by choice. If even 10% of the movie is accurate to reality, then it is safe to say that no one could predict the falling away of human decency in the face of such overt electronic voyeurism. But it happened nonetheless, as a structural side-effect of a massive social change: the shift from real life to secondary life, wherein what is blogged, reblogged, and electronically discussed becomes as or more real than what actually happened to get the ball rolling.
I do my blogging. But no one could accuse me of doing anything impersonal. I would even venture that the unpopularity and inaccessibility of most of what I write is a failsafe guard against inhumanity. There is no filter here. This is all me. All the time. And not through two or three different lenses: how I feel is what you see, but I always stand back from myself just far enough that I can see it too.
So. The movie was great. The acting was great. The story and its real-life counterpart are fascinating and wonderful. But the loss is undeniable, and the strange triumph I feel at having no pretension to such ‘heights’ of experience in my real life, and likewise to such fairytale expectations of my writing and my inner life, is boundless.
I see that I am free from even my own expectations. And in the distancing of myself from my Self, I am ultimately free. There is no greater accomplishment for me at this point in my life.
Someday maybe, I will create something outside of myself that is worthy of external note, that may changes a few minds and turn a few heads.
But for now I accept my evanescent meanderings in this World; it is after all the only thing I will answer to in the end.
And then I will be dirt, as will we all. Dirt has no use for any sort of network. Social or otherwise.