Anti-Social Media -a Psychologist's Review of the Movie Social Network

Review of the Movie Social Network

Social Network is a movie about Mark Zuckerberg, (the founder of Facebook), and the story of how he became the world's youngest billionaire. The movie chronicles the success of this young Harvard geek as he constructs an online empire at the comparable expense of his one friend, and all of his foes alike.

The movie will disappoint you if you are used to enjoying action movies with chase scenes, or the usual psychological thrillers, where interpersonal tension is resolved in the end so you feel relief or happiness for the protagonist. These are not feelings this movie will engender.

Instead, the movie aptly describes how a bright young geek can make his first billion dollars by betraying his only friend and treating him even worse than he treated his adversaries. I think it is poignantly ironic that the most viewed social media site in the world, Facebook, is, if the movie is to be believed, the brainchild of someone with little concern for or compassion for the person he considers his only friend. I am not able to diagnose the real Mark Zuckerberg, as I have never met him, but the one in the movie, brilliantly played by Jesse Eisenberg, appears to have a personality that combines antisocial, narcisisstic, and possibly schizoid features.

Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker

Another central character of the film, Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) is an even more compelling depiction of an antisocial personality. Sean Parker founded and then bankrupted Napster, the most famous online peer-to-peer music sharing site.

If the movie's portrayal of these two characters is anything like the real people they depict, it would mean that the brave new world of social media that has taken over our culture comes, at least in these cases, from the most dysfunctional parents one could imagine. It makes me want to rethink my own facebook account. However I don't feel callous enough to cut off all my friends, like Zuckerberg could easily do, if the movie is to be believed.

The movie Social Network is worth seeing, but more as a character study. The script keeps it as interesting as possible, and acting by Eisenberg, and and Andrew Garfield, who plays Eduardo Severin, the cofounder, is excellent, and likely to contribute to the success of the movie. I found Timberlake a little over the top, but that may just be typecasting.



Facebook and Privacy

Interestingly, FACEBOOK is somewhat notorious about not keeping your information private. Despite repeated assurances that they are improving this, it remains a problem. The movie depicts Zuckerberg's disdain for privacy in his initial shenanigans at Harvard. Just before he began FACEBOOK, he took private information and pictures from various sororities and such, and then posted them without permission, on the web. If this is any indication of their true philosophy, we need to be more careful with what we put on our Facebook accounts.

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Comments 8 comments

goodmovies profile image

goodmovies 6 years ago from Texas

Since the movie was based on a book by Ben Mezrich, I suspect that the portrayals of these characters was skewed, to say the least. I thought the lighting in the film was really dark, which made the strange personalities seem even stranger. Great dialogue though.


CharlotteHughes profile image

CharlotteHughes 6 years ago

I couldn't sit through the whole movie, but you are right, the Zuckerberg character was not likable at all


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

I would agree that there is proabably some difference in the real characters from the movie, but if the scenarios and events (lawsuits, betrayal of best friend, actual scripts of emails he sent) are the same (which all has been confirmed) then I would rationalize he is not a great guy. Any or all of the conclusions you came to about him seem to apply. This was exactly what I got from the movie as well.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

David-I have yet to see the movie, but am looking forward to it just for the added 'details' of how his 'brainchild' was developed. Without seeing the movie, just the clips, I would tend to agree with the off the cuff diagnosis.

Currently I have been reading about narcisstic personality disorder and its horrific effects on relationships and those involved with them. In fact, I recently posted a poem: Narcisstic Love, under the hubtitle Truths of the Heart.

Thanks for the review.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina

I haven't seen this movie yet, but this hub has inspired me to go see it. I like movies and books that have character portrayals in them.


Apple Dapple 5 years ago

Even if the movie is only 50% correct, the character of Mark Z. is concerning.


TheMonk profile image

TheMonk 5 years ago from Brazil

This is an interesting hub. I haven´t seen this movie yet, but I guess I will like it. I liked "Pirates of Silicon Valley" too. It´s one of my favorite movies.


Ken F 4 years ago

I have not seen the movie but in assessing the real Zuckerberg I’ve always suspected he was a narcissistic personality and possibly even an anti-social personality. Of course I would have to spend some time with him to actually confirm these suspicions but I’m very good at sizing people very quickly and I’m rarely wrong. Anyway seeing as how you have assessed the same mental disorders in the main character in the movie it just goes to confirms my suspicions.

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