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Owning the Means of Connection

The Social Network, David Fincher, Director, Aaron Sorkin, Screenplay, 2010 – 

If you’re like me, you’re partial to narratives of hope. You want things to work out, for yourself certainly…but also for the people you care about and the traditions you identify with and think are healthy. From childhood on you’ve felt burdened by a sense that something is wrong, a little bit wrong maybe, or maybe a lot wrong, depending on your temperament. We can talk about that sense of wrong-ness as free-floating anxiety, dukkha, original sin – my point is only that, like me, you probably tend to assemble daily experience into story lines – narratives – that make a plausible case for why your world is moving in a less-wrong direction.

I closed a recent post on an upbeat note of this kind, constructing a hopeful narrative around the notion that the increased interconnectivity of communications in the digital age might mitigate somewhat the environmental degradation we see playing out nearly everywhere we look. The next day I opened The New Yorker and read a story by Malcolm Gladwell in which he argues that Facebook and Twitter are vastly over-rated as agents of positive change. As much as I hate to take issue with the formidable Gladwell, David Fincher’s new movie The Social Network has me pondering the question all over again.

When it comes to making movies, David Fincher knows what he’s doing. The casting of The Social Network, for starters, is spot on. Jesse Eisenberg specializes in being the most likeable unlikeable guy in history, and casting Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker is a stroke of genius. The narrative is elegantly constructed, the script by TV writer Aaron Sorkin undercutting the tendency toward nihilism that can reduce the impact of Fincher’s work. The editing by Fincher and Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, makes the complex crosscutting narrative unfurl with deceptive ease. The way the visual palette shifts from muddy to bright is deft. And it’s an amazing score, too, the composer Trent Reznor pushing back against the remarkable work Jonny Greenwood did in There Will Be Blood. Still, the critical response to the film has been so overwhelmingly positive I find myself curious about what deep chord has been struck.

A screwball comedy without the comedy or much of a sense of humor even, The Social Network opens on an argument between the Harvard geek Mark Zuckerberg and his earthy Boston University girlfriend. In the grip of toxic insecurity, Zuckerberg insults the social status of B.U. His date breaks up with him on the spot and storms off into the winter night. In this first scene the film sets up its fundamental opposition: social hierarchy on the one hand, erotic connectivity on the other. Wounded and resentful, Zuckerberg hurries home across the snowy quads to strike out at his ex through the internet, and the film follows as this initial act of aggression flowers a few years later into Facebook. Interesting, maybe, but hardly the recipe for a blockbuster. So, what are we to make of the film’s success?

Reviews I’ve read have focused on the lead character’s Asperger-y social ineptitude. And sure, Zuckerberg is brainy and insecure, alienated from his body and lacking in what used to be called the “social graces.” But his most important attribute, mentioned three times at least, is that Zuckerberg doesn’t care about money. This disinterest in money is what fuels Zuckerberg’s conflicts with the various partners he freezes out. The waspy Winklevos brothers, the shark-like Navendra and the nebbishy Saverin all want to make themselves some green, but Zuckerberg worships at a different altar. What he wants is inter-connection, which he astutely recognizes as the value most ascendant in our world. And, as the ultimate outsider, Zuckerberg is perfectly equipped to quantitize this connectivity. His lack of social affect is what allows him step outside the “norm” and produce the metrics by which human connectivity can be measured. Eros is available to him only via the quantifiable statistics of connectivity; he can win lawsuits without blinking, but he will never get the girl.

We see how The Social Network constructs a clash between separation (hierarchy, money, Thanatos) on the one hand and connection (horizontality, love, Eros) on the other. The thing about money is that it’s not only something I have, it’s also something you don’t have. Money is an abstraction of material control over a concrete thing that can be owned by only one entity, separate and apart from all others. Money emphasizes separation, the exclusive ownership of property, including, in the modern age, the labor of others. This emphasis on separation is why, in the Freudian tradition, money is linked to the death instinct (Thanatos). The opposite of Thanatos, to Freud, was Eros, the energy of connection, in which two previously separate things are united. Here again we find the fundamental opposition mentioned above: money and connection. Money is all about material ownership and control; connection is all about love, the making of erotic bonds.

So while, on one level, The Social Network is a story about an IPO, strip away several layers irony and what you find is a mythic struggle between the gods of love and death. Zuckerberg’s ambition is to create a horizontal network of desire to displace the vertical network of exclusion that shut him out, and that also, in the opening scene, made “love” get up and storm off. Wounded and full of longing, Zuckerberg lashes out briefly, then embarks on a fierce campaign to prove himself worthy and win love back. In love’s name he renounces his bond with the hierarchical forces of exclusivity and forges an alliance with Dionysus (Shawn Parker), the rock star god of good parties. Together they create a shrine to the goddess of erotic connectivity, and that shrine is called Facebook, which runs on desire, Eros. Dionysus goes too far, like he always does, with the drugs and the underage girls, and Zuckerberg ends up the youngest billionaire in history. But the story’s close comes as Zuckerberg, cleansed by his various trials, wins his goddess back, albeit as a different, yes, avatar. Sitting at his law firms conference room table and hitting that refresh button again and again…the film’s closing image can be read as a neurotic bastardization of love, but to me it’s also oddly hopeful.

This same willful optimist in me wonders if the film is showing how, with Facebook and other connective media, the concept of ownership itself is beginning to shift. By their very nature these media are continually underscoring how ownership is a social convention rather than a fixed natural law. The Social Network makes this point again and again; connectivity is the real value, not ownership and to some degree they are in direct conflict. Sean Parker in the film highlights exactly this opposition. “Look how I destroyed the music business with Napster,” he says more than once. What is going on, The Social Network asks, when a commodity with tremendous social value cannot be monetized? When, in fact, that commodity undercuts the exclusivity that the concept of monetization arises from to begin with? The fact that money is being made is beside the point here.

The last time this core concept of ownership was seriously reassessed was at the birth of the modern era. In the opening moments of the Protestant Reformation the full spectrum of modern attitudes toward ownership – from full bore Ayn Rand-esque libertarianism to radical collective anarchism – were laid out. Here we enter zeitgeist terrain and the response to the film begins to make some sense. Connection is not about ownership and it’s not really about control. The point is how the experience of connection shifts the way we relate to experience moment to moment. Drain energy from the concept of ownership and it shifts into the something more like stewardship – ownership minus ego investment. One senses a shift of that magnitude, which is why Gladwell may well be wrong.

Given my infatuation with the way the Buddhists view things, the subject of money and its relationship to connection reminds me of the Buddhist pairing of “form” and “emptiness.” “Emptiness” points to the common ground of all phenomenon that makes connection of any kind possible, and is, radically, considered quite limitless. If you want to see how the concept of “form” manifests in the social arena, ownership is exactly where you would want to look. The first thing we feel ourselves to “own” is the self or ego, despite the fact that this ego-self is entirely a projection. We then begin to buttress the shaky reality of this self-image by adorning it with possessions and property – if we can fool others, maybe we can ignore the fact that this ego-self never feels truly real.

Why are we like this? The demands of survival made us so, perhaps. A bias in the direction of form might be a intrinsic to evolution itself, in other words. And the large arc of human history – nomadic tribes settling into agricultural communities that grew into cities and empires until the explosion of the industrial revolution three hundred years ago really kicked things into high gear – is really the story of this bias toward form playing itself out over time. This is the imbalance we must learn to correct if we are to continue to thrive. Such, at any rate, is the hopeful narrative I find myself partial to today.

Comments

  1. Cheryl Slean says:

    Nicely done! A beautifully written argument, Guy, which I disagree with only fundamentally. 🙂 Or maybe we don’t disagree?I know I put less faith in the facebook than you do. Here’s why:

    Yes, the main irony of the film was that this brilliant minor sociopath (so many of the brilliant lack social awareness, why?) designed a “connectivity” tool that could not give him the real connection he longed for– the love of “the girl”– and like all immature westerners he also thought, briefly, that money might buy it for him. He didn’t care about money, except that he thought for a while it might make him more lovable. That is the false promise of our commodified culture. What I liked about the movie, and this irony, was that it drew the line of falsity from the mind of facebook’s creator direct to the phenomenon itself, and this promise that it offers, to “create” connection. As if connection is something that can be “created” at all– connection can’t be made, because it’s always there, always has been, and is easily known and felt, anywhere, anytime, with anyONE, once one drops the blinders of self-identification. (I know, easier said than done, but that is the journey!) This is why, as you say, interconnection can’t be bought or sold: because it is the reality of our existence, no less. But facebook encourages the very thing that gets in the way of seeing that fundamental reality: locating and identifying with the concept of one’s “self-image”– one’s preferences, one’s thoughts– and using said preferences to find others of same. FB actually enacts the ignorance of identification–these are MY friends, this is ME. Identification to concept (and self-image is a concept) is the very thing in the way of knowing interconnection; it is the essence of suffering, alienation and apartness; and facebook, IMO, actively adds to the momentum of this rampant ignorance. The best metaphor I can find that demonstrates the stupidity of hoping for real connection via the supremely mediated medium of the computer is a visual one: the picture you can see in any coffee house in any city or town, of people sitting shoulder to shoulder, laptops open, headphones on, pounding obsessively to their “friends” on facebook while ignoring the actual human beings in their actual vicinity, breathing the same air, wanting the same things, consuming without care the same shrinking pool of natural resources that is the lifeblood of our interconnected world.

    Facebook is only a computer program, a tool, and like any tool, it can be commodified, and so it has been. A tool can also be used in service to any intention, and that will change the outcome of its use– a wrench can be used to fix a neighbor’s car, or murder him. So I think it’s important to note, as the film did, so obviously any twitterer could get it, Zuckerberg’s intention when he created his behemoth. It was revenge on women first, then later, the sublimation of that rage into the desire to be popular, important. FB is a tool made in service to the religion of ego. Even if you separate the object from the intention of its creator, and put it objectively in the hands of the masses– well, then you have the minds of the masses, the same minds, if a bit less quick on average, as Zuckerberg’s. To those who say facebook will change the world for the better, I say, not if it’s being used by the same ignorant minds driven by the same obsessive self-fixation. I do not think, as you seem to, that a tool like facebook can really change the fundamental ignorance that we all share, inherited from and inbred in us by the culture. But the good news is, what we need for real change is already resident in our minds; no need to make a tool of any kind, computer or otherwise; it is simply the quality of awareness, of consciousness itself. So that’s where I place my hope– and I have a lot of it, too!

    Thank you so much for your post and for the opportunity to share these thoughts.

  2. Guy Zimmerman says:

    Well, I’m actually not all that interested in Facebook per se. It’s just one application among thousands and I don’t really disagree with anything you’re saying. But the internet itself is interesting to me, and the view of the internet as a complex system out of which some unexpected things may emerge, and not all of them bad. I’m also not so sure that the emphasis on self-imaging will be defined by the issues you describe. A case can be made that the easy of self-imaging and the experience of creating and then revising/changing that self image doesn’t wind up undercutting the solidity of that activity. Facebook is strange. On my birthday I had greetings from people I haven’t seen in decades alongside those from people I met last week. Odd. In any event, the idea isn’t to get away from self-images so much as to get away from the idea that those self-images are real in any meaningful way, and I think Facebook actually underscores their artificiality. In any event…Onward,

    G

  3. Cheryl Slean says:

    Yes G, good point, that facebook identities are literally virtual, as are all identities.. ever changing, etc. I agree it’s the attachment to the identity that is the problem, not the id itself. But don’t you think most FB users are engaged in just that?– full-on projection and attachment? Using FB or myspace or other taste-based social networks as a way to amplify and project the inner image that they think of as solid and unchanging? It amplifies the ignorance, is my fear. People think they are REAL, these identities they are projecting onto the unreal surface of the computer, changeable as they may be, just as I look at my face in the mirror and think sure there’s a few more wrinkles but that’s her all right, Cheryl Slean, monolithic entity. So I don’t know about your case for virtual reality undermining the basic assumptions of self-attachment. Maybe I’m just an old fogie and big changes (besides ADHD) are underway with the youngsters? All that said, because it is a just a tool, I suspect there could be a way for a visionary like you to use facebook or some other application to show people the fallacy in the self-assumption. I’m not sure what that would look like… maybe rather than “What’s on your mind?” to ask “What’s on your mind, and why do you believe it?” Or SustainableMe. Use the tool to provide information that can turn the mind toward insight.

  4. Robert Gould says:

    You know I don’t touch type so my words form slower than my brain creates thoughts, thus I am forever behind.
    Good review and deeper thoughts than the surface of the film allows. The loneliness at the top is very humanizing to the viewer but the one at the top is incapable of the depth of feelings that the viewer heaps upon them. The fact that they are intellect over emotion means they will never be able to have the experience those have who live in the world of emotions over intellect. The loneliness is forever.

  5. Guy Zimmerman says:

    Just wanted to underscore a few things about this piece. The first is I’m coming at the topic from a very suspicious place regarding technology. From Walter Benjamin to Heidegger to the Frankfurt School of thinkers, I tend to view technology as a dangerously coercive feature of human development, linked intimately with alienation and repression, etc. It’s a very big topic, but the science of complex systems has shifted my thinking about technology in certain ways as has my experience with an awareness practice. Technology, on a certain level, makes nothing happen is my current view, with the double entendre of the word “nothing” fully intended. That’s a big and tricky idea, one that can’t be addressed here. But the fact is technology ain’t going away, so part of the hopeful (wishful, possibly) thinking in this piece has to do with finding a silver lining in the idea of emergent form.

    The second more banal thing I want to underscore is how reluctant I was to see the film. It was really the uniformly rave reviews that made me finally go. And, obviously, one doesn’t have to like the people in a film to find the film interesting and worth writing about.

    More to say about all this, but for now…

  6. Dov Rudnick says:

    Two observations: First, the impulse to construct hopeful narratives. In essence, the frantic search for a promised land, a savior, an all’s-well-that-ends-well moment, the happy ending, etc. A fundamental human desire at the heart of every religious and political movement with the exception perhaps of nihilism. I am caught wondering, is this impulse really such a necessary and good thing?
    There is a bumper sticker on my card of Shepard Fairy’s Obama portrait with the single word “Hope”. It wasn’t so long ago that I pasted it on with self-righteous pride. At the moment its continued existence inspires a certain embarassment in me. Almost nothing has been done to adress the issues I think are most pertinent, namely the environmental crisis, which is to say the human crisis. And so I’ve settled back into the dubious comfort of common despair.
    Secondly, this issue of facebook. In my life, its greatest impact has had less to do with social networking than the frequency by which it has brought old acquaintances, friends, lovers and crushes streaming back into my consciousness. In a confused and wondrous way I am confronted with multiple selves, past and present. Furthermore, I suspect this is happening all over. And I have to say there has been a kind of heart-warming sensation accompanied with each of these experiences. Love and compassion for myself and others seems to be the by-product, and we tend to agree such things are good.
    But now back to the issue of hope. As McLuhan noted (I think it was him)all advertising is good news. If that’s true we are surrounded, indeed bombarded, by positive visions of the future. It is a requisite for any would-be politician to paint at least one pretty portrait of solutions. The mania for creating “best-days-lie-ahead” slogans make it all but impossible to talk about scary things in an honest manner.
    Those who clamor to raise red alarms are shuffled out of view, making strange bedfellows with apocalyptic-minded religious fundamentalists.
    Maybe it is time to stop being hopeful. To seriously question the impulse to construct hopeful narratives in the first place and to try to be aware of when they become further obstacles to confronting reality. The “long-arc of human history” is infact a flash in the pan when compared with the history of life on Earth. This we know, as well the fact that 99.99 percent of species have already perished from the Earth. In others words, we’re fucked, as a species that is. Once duly assessed, we can go about the business of easing pain and suffering in the moment. Let us abandon hope this minute. The nihilists, embodied by thugs and gangsters, have always held a certain allure. Is it because they have abandoned the pretext of hopeful narratives? To speak and act with authority, to be effective on any practical level we must cease this ingrained habit of hopefulness. It is human of course, and we cherish it, but a sham nonetheless.
    My suggestion, not especially original, is that the only hope is to abandon hope for the future of humanity, only then might we make a meaningful connection with the beautiful world of which we are a part.

  7. Cheryl Slean says:

    G, I agree with you about technology doing “nothing,” which was the point I made about tools in my earlier post. People are always keen to lay the blame for their suffering on other things (technology, corporations), other people (my parents, my spouse, Obama), etc.– anything but “me.” There seems to be this collective resistance to taking responsibility for the reactivity of one’s own mind; which is linked of course to the habit pattern of identifying everything as either me, mine; or you, yours. If “I” feel bad, then it must be someone/thing’s fault. I must identify the problem and fix it, so I feel good again. What a relief it is to see through the fallacy of the self-conceit (one translation), which releases the chronic self-judgment that keeps this childish “it’s all THEIR fault” narrative at play in the mind. Facing and taking responsibility for the moment-to-moment operation of one’s mind, not as a punitive thing, but compassionately, is the heart of a truly revolutionary movement of change. But more on the revolution some other time. Back to The Social Network… I was curious about the hope you felt at the last image of the film, of Z. obsessively hitting refresh.. why did you find this hopeful? To me it was a brilliant dramatic action to close with because it enacted the basic problem of humanity: the addictive nature of the untrained mind, compulsively clinging to pleasure-seeking of various forms (most notably, compulsive proliferation of concept, papanca). And there was facebook, a tool designed to help you indulge in your addiction to this bastardized (as you say) idea of connection. So we get to see what all this wrongly-intended effort pays out to: a monkey pushing a button for the love drug. I guess I found it hopeful only in the sense that someone in mainstream entertainment was actually pointing, for once, to the elephant in the room. The source of our suffering is in our own minds. What gives me even more hope are the next noble truths, if you will: there is a cause of suffering, an end, and a way to the end. I wonder what kind of entertainment could be made that works beyond step 1?

  8. Guy Zimmerman says:

    Well, in the terms of this essay what would have been pessimistic would have been if Zuckerberg were hitting the refresh button on his bank account. Obviously, I’m qualifying my argument hugely by confessing at the outset that I’m engaged in positive spin and also by noting that the filmmakers are working in a heavily ironic mode such that if indeed The Social Network is a comedy it’s a very dark one. But the way that scene developed seemed for me very positive. The female lawyer was warm and earthy and emotionally sympathetic toward Zuckerberg. So I don’t retreat from my interpretation, even while I continue to qualify it and won’t really argue with someone who views it in a less positive light.

    In general, as I underscore, I’m coming back from a “Civilization and It’s Discontents” take on technology and what it suggests about our future. Very tentatively, perhaps, but still. Again, it’s a big topic, but I would say, finally, the shift came for me in seeing how awareness is non-algorithmic even if intelligence may be, in fact, algorithmic. This is bound to seem completely opaque, but to me it suggests that technology can do its thing and not touch the ground of, or the essential core of (choose your metaphor) the human or the living. Technology, from this point of view, remains forever a tool or servant rather than a master and that’s, for me, a positive shift.

  9. Cheryl Slean says:

    Thanks Guy, interesting! I hear what you’re saying about the scene as a whole having warmth and humanity– before Z asks to be alone with his computer. The whole scene to me showed wonderfully the contradictory impulses of an antisocial mind like Z’s (or mine)– veering from the warmth (and challenge) of interaction to the coldness (and peace) of solitude. Such a counterpoint in a single scene was indeed gleefully ironic! But as far as optimism & pessimism go, to me it makes no difference whether the object of craving is money or love, from the POV of suffering– there’s no improvement there. It’s really no better that Z is addicted to eros/love and Parker addicted to thanatos/money: it’s all addiction/craving, and I’d argue that the movie makes little distinction between the pointlessness of each. In fact– and I know you know this, just reiterating for the sake of the discussion– one way of looking at the problem of suffering as a whole is recognizing that we are entranced by the objects of awareness, and the meditative path asks us to instead turn our awareness toward the process of entrancement itself– the only “location,” or view, to be more precise, where real change can be made. I guess you’re saying it’s hopeful that the culture, as evidenced by this movie, is finally viewing technology as a tool rather than an end in itself, but as a technology developer (in a past incarnation) I always saw it as a tool. What else could it be? A computer programmer starts with the nuts and bolts of the coding language and ends up with an object, a piece of code, intended to do help the user do a task; it’s no mystery. So I agree with your new view: no matter what the philosophers say, there is certainly nothing to fear in technology. The critique of technology, the view of it as “the master” seems to me to be an anthropomorphic projection by users (not makers) who don’t really understand it, and perhaps feel victimized (or at least surprised) by it. I will agree with you that complex systems, even manmade ones, do allow for unpredictable outcomes. I’ve had many “ghost in the machine” moments with my bigger chunks of code– bugs I could never fix and others that somehow fixed themselves; but I put this down to my own relative lack of understanding– of the guts of computers, not truly grokking the physics of processors & memory, etc. It’s like what is said about karma– that only a mind of a buddha can see the whole vast network of cause & effect that led to this moment. To the rest of us, things happen that appear to be surprising; and our discomfort with the perceived unknown makes us fearful.

    I don’t think it’s opaque at all what you’re saying about awareness and intelligence, and I heartily agree. Another way of saying it is that we can’t think our way out of the problem of suffering. But as you say, just seeing this truth is a hugely positive step, and for me hope lies here: I may never understand all the myriad causes that led to this moment, but I can work with the here and now, and the fact that in every moment there is the possibility of choice, toward more or less suffering. For me, the path of less suffering may have been enacted in the movie with Z. STEPPING AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER and following the chance for real human connection, but such an ending for this movie would have sucked– it would have been unbelievable for the character they built, and therefore sentimental. Z. HAD to stay in the chair. He had to be shown stuck in the prison false hope he’d made for himself– the prison, as you say, of his “algorithmic intelligence.” But in real life, there is always, in this very moment, the possibility of breaking out, even for thought addicts like Z, or me. :))

    Thanks as always Guy for the invigorating chat.

  10. Thanks for a very interesting piece, Guy! I don’t fully agree with all of it but I do agree the movie raised worthwhile questions and I have now become obsessed with these questions. I don’t agree that the human race has always moved more toward the “form” that you described, and further away from real connection. Cavemen were at war with the next group of cavemen a mile away, for survival’s sake; then ever-larger groups of people created their own constructed “connectivity”, from fiefdoms and provinces and religions to nations and now, “globalism.” We seem to identify more closely than we used to with our fellow humans in larger groups, even if those constructs are invented — but often allowing a true feeling of fellowship. But I don’t know that tech such as facebook furthers that — yet. I see people using it mostly in very shallow ways, putting forth their own self-created identity for the consumption of others. Most people seem to connect on facebook with their “Friends” rather than their real friends. Why facebook my real friend when I just had dinner with him — I’ll call him or send a personal email thank-you at least. Why facebook even a long-lost friend after the initial connection — I always take it immediately off facebook if I want to relate with someone in a real way, and it dies or it thrives, outside the world of facebook. I think the medium and format of facebook encourage self-promotion and superficiality, creating more barriers to real connection. Hmmm.

  11. Sharon Yablon says:

    Great thoughts all around from everyone! I really enjoyed this movie, it was easy, like an amusement park ride. That said, there are deeper issues with regards to technology, alienation, and how it’s changing the way we socialize – perhaps even who we are, on a cellular level (I don’t have any facts at my fingertips but I have heard scientists speak about television and the effects of images permanently altering our brains) – that the film didn’t address. I do realize this isn’t Bergman’s or Rod Serling’s version of the story, though.

    It seems one often can’t have real success without hurting people along the way. As a species we wouldn’t have survived if we weren’t violent and aggressive, and self-serving. To succeed in capitalism, one usually must possess these traits. A CEO is a very particular kind of personality, and most likely a hidden sociopath.

    Facebook is an endlessly compelling topic – how it taps into one’s narcissism and general need to say “I exist!” in a continually changing reality and self.

    I find it very interesting that the only real friend Mark Zuckerberg had in the movie was one he had to sacrifice to be successful. The movie had a vague tragic quality because even though this is about a brilliant kid who becomes filthy rich and will now get laid, he may find himself in a new kind of lonliness. We’ve all encountered paranoid wealthy people, continually surrounded by people who most likely want money or help from them, but not friendship. They yearn for acceptance and tolerance (love), a need which goes beyond acquiring material possessions. But the capitalistic delusion continues…it’s sad, and we can all succumb to it.

    Facebook has turned the noun “friend” into a verb, where we can now friend each other. But real friendship is a deep and complicated relationship, sometimes peppered with conflicts. It takes effort, and history. It is just as rewarding as a romantic relationship, but in a different way. I may have 200 or so friends on Facebook, but who can I call when I’m in a crisis, or who do I actually see socially? A very small percent. In other words, I’m not actually friends with most of my friends on Facebook, and this is why I often have an uncomfortableness gnawing at me whenever I’m on Facebook. It assuages my need for connection, but makes me lonely. And the status update is so alluring, is what I’m doing important? Do people actually care?

    I’ve heard that nothing can actually be deleted so when I die all of my posts will be accessible, but I’ll be gone. I wonder if we all lived in cities with town squares, where we actually ran into people and had more of a sense of community – a lost time perhaps – if Facebook would be so popular. At any rate, it will be interesting to see how Facebook and technology will continue to change who we are and the way we live.

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