_The Social Network_ is regarded as a key film of the past year, regardless of its extreme nerdiness, the all-too-perfect dialogues and the repetitive legal fights which may have puzzled and bored many.
Zuckerberg’s tale might well be the symbol of the last decade. The _Times_ has already given some clues in this regard, as it was Zuckerberg (and not Assange) to be chosen as its Man of the Year. So in this light we all owe Fincher, who brought the story up in the big screen, a big favour. If nothing because _The Social Network_ has the merit of pitilessly showing the passing away of the 1.0 and the rise of the 2.0 generations. A social update in some respect.
The idea of the 2.0 generation is not new as it appeared on the _New York Review of Books_ in an article by Zadie Smith – ‘Generation Why?’ – Smith asks what it takes for a generation to end and, more significantly, what is left for those who are update-immune: The Facebook dissidents.
In times of political uncertainties this is a pressing issue. We hold apathy to be the greatest illness of the Roaring Tens’ generation, and yet we are still little eager to point at any possible scape-goats. Only a handful of people (1.0 Zadie Smith included) have had the courage to point at social networks as the culprits. What should a politically alienated 20-year-old find refuge in? His own generation. Which in our case has incidentally been trapped in the social networks’ web since 2003.
If you cannot come up with a decent new year’s resolution, do something unexpected. Delete your Facebook account. Which on Zuckerbergian terms means: delete yourself.
The idea of our technological immortality is something which does not yet concern us as much as it should and which nonetheless counts as one of the greatest fears for the 2.0 human being.
Employers do use our photos and data to decide between possible interns/employees. So do it out of the fear that your virtual self could end up in the wrong hands. Or because you feel there is, perhaps more interestingly, something behind your resolution.
Zadie Smith, an irremediably 1.0 woman, thinks that this feeling of dissent is confined to her own generation. To the 1.0 human being, this seems to be a much larger issue. It is not impossible to think of an anti-Facebook movement growing within the generation for which Facebook should be the emblem. Do we really need to have an application which helps us understand and track our friendships? Do we need to show we have a social life? Do we have to tell everyone what we believe in?
If the 2.0 generation started, albeit on the sly, back in 2003, are its dissidents 2.0 humans too? Are we part of Zuckerberg’s world even though we do not want to be? To belong to a generation based upon the socio-technological revolution of Facebook, the date of birth may not be sufficient. We’re required to have more: a genuine sense of belonging.
To the 1.0 and 2.0 dissidents this means running the risk of being ostracized as nostalgic – or in 2.0 terms, as system errors.