Thursday, October 21, 2010

What does a man gain from Facebook friends?

Jeffrey Overstreet offers his review of The Social Network as well as some comments on Facebook itself. Very intriguing. Here's a few paragraphs that stood out to me:
When I hear people scorning Facebook as a total waste of time, my response is this: Facebook is what you make it. If we fill it with thoughtless words, trivialities, and self-absorption, we’ll waste each other’s time. But if we use it to cultivate substantial conversation, treating people generously, we may be surprised at what grows there...


This desire to remake the world to satisfy ourselves is as old as the oldest story. When the serpent in the garden appealed to our vanity, inviting us to become “like God,” we became insecure. We doubted our worthiness. We accepted a poisonous vision of power games and competition.

For our sins, God revoked our access to the garden. He offered us grace and reconciliation, but what have we done? We’ve gone about building gardens of our own design, setting ourselves up and judge and jury.

The conclusion of Christ’s parable of the prodigal son is revelatory. Who is the only one absent from the feast? The prodigal’s older brother. He has access to all of his father’s blessings, but he can’t enjoy them because he is upset that blessings aren’t being dealt out to his liking.

In his commentary on The Social Network, David Brooks writes, “I was reminded of the famous last scene in The Searchers, in which the John Wayne character is unable to join the social bliss he has created. The character gaps that propel some people to do something remarkable can’t be overcome simply because they have managed to change the world.”

Despite his grand achievements and their rewards—money, fame, power—Zuckerberg ends up lonely and dissatisfied. His pride has cost him his only friends. Demanding love on his own terms, he’s made meaningful relationship impossible.

If you build it, they will come. And they may even find blessings in your work. But will you? What does it gain a man if he wins a world of Facebook friends but loses his soul?

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