About three weeks ago I watched The Social Network. I have to watch it again soon because the first experience came as a surprise. It did nothing for me.
I didn’t like it; I didn’t dislike it. It was as if I had watched a television drama that held my interest while it was on but as soon as it ended I could scarcely remember what I had seen. I had expected to either really love it or really hate it.
I guess all the hoopla surrounding the film had set up some expectations that didn’t match reality. I don’t really know.
So I’ll have to watch it again soon and figure out the what and why of my response.
But on the subject of movies and the Internet and social media, I find two westerns best describe them, at least in my mind. Quite a few westerns describe the history of the Internet but the one I think does it best is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
It describes the west, which is free but also lawless and not a place for families and communities to exist with any sense of safety. It describes the coming of order, and law and, perhaps most significantly, business — the good and bad aspects of those things; what is gained and what is lost. That seems a pretty fair portrait of the Internet’s history.
The movie I think of when I think of social media is The Outlaw Josey Wales simply because it is about communities forming around a thought, an idea, a sense of purpose, in the case of the film, a man who represents all that, even if unwillingly. It describes the how and why of communities forming. And that seems a fair description of the brief history of social media.
As for The Social Network, it’s in my on deck circle for another viewing and hopefully a better understanding of what it leaves me with and why.