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Headscratchers / The Social Network

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  • At the end of the film, Mark sends Erica a friend request, hoping she will reply. However, having become very famous and well-known for his invention, why would Mark have a personal Facebook account? And even if he had one under a pseudonym, why would Erica even care if she saw it?
    • In real life, Mark actually does have a Facebook account under his real name and has since the very beginning of the website. He's kept it extremely private, though.
    • Here it is. Although in real life, being the CEO, he can not be "friended" or "unfriended".

  • Was the ending and the whole thing with the Friend Request even meant to be ambiguous or was it to show that Erica was ultimately a lost cause and Mark cannot make up with what happened in the past?
    • If your ex-boyfriend became one of the richest people on the planet, and wants to get back together with you, would you really want to come off as a "lost cause" to him?
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    • I read it as Erica forgiving Mark by proxy (by making a profile on Facebook) and then Mark trying for reconciliation in response (becoming friends (again)). Intentionally unresolved, to allow for your view. But then again, I'm a hopeless romantic, so YMMV.
    • I saw it differently. I thought Marylin's comment about him not truly being an asshole made Mark start to doubt Erica's asshole speech at the beginning. I don't think his effort to friend her was romantic; it was an attempt to validate himself. If Erica no longer believed he was an asshole, then he could finally see himself as a good person, instead of trying to convince himself and everyone else that he was. The fact that Erica never responds on film does leave the question in the viewers' hands. Is Mark the bad guy? He's trying to find out himself.
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    • To me it summed up the movie quite well. Mark is a passive aggressive coward who screws people over without confronting them. In the pursuit of power, fame, and money he lost all the friends he had and never stopped to think about it. Now that he's at the top he thinks Erica will want to love him. He's just a coward with a lot of money.
    • I thought it was more bringing the movie's Mark Zuckerberg down to earth. He sees himself as this superior being, the classic asshole tech-genius who overcame the system with his sheer raw talent - as pretty much stated outright in his character-defining "attention" monologue early on, and in exactly what buttons Sean Parker (movie version) was able to press with him. But now, after going through the whole story again and the young lawyer's comment on him, we see he's just a person after all through that request. He got all the inferior "sheeple" to hook themselves into Facebook - but in the end, he's as human and hooked as the rest of them, pathetically refreshing his page to see if his college crush is friending him. It's him using Facebook in such a common, human way that shows us what Facebook tapped into and how universal it is. Even to people like Zuckerberg (again, movie version) whose entire self-esteem is predicated on being better than other people.
The point of the Social Network isn't whether the founder is an asshole or not. It's to show that he's a person.
  • Thank you for all your interpretations, but like I said, was it meant to be ambiguous and to give Mark some hope, or was it meant to mean that Mark is doomed to not be able to "pick up the pieces". I myself think that Erica being on facebook might be a huge factor if she accepts the friend request or not, she could be willing to let go of this grudge she has... or she could have joined because of conformity, no one will really know...
    • "No one will really know" + a multitude of interpretations, all valid means it was meant to be ambiguous.

  • Why in the Hell should it be "ambiguous" whether an Indian character is Indian?! White people never get this treatment!
    • White characters get race-lifted all the time in fiction.
      • Not nearly as much as people of color do. The problem is that Narendra is actually Indian in real life and the casting does not reflect that. Even the real life Narendra was surprised to see himself portrayed that way.

  • So... why are there more people with genius IQ's in China than people of any kind in the United States?
    • There aren't. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Now, China unquestionably has more geniuses than the United States, as it has more than three times the population. China also has an average I.Q. score that's maybe three to five points higher, which translates into a major difference at the far right of the I.Q. distribution where the geniuses are. There's no way, however, that could result in more Chinese geniuses than total Americans.
    • To add some statistics to that answer, a 'genius IQ' is often considered 140+, which is the top 0.4% on the bell curve of IQ (mean 100, standard deviation 15). This would require (distributions being equal between countries, unlikely, but still illustrative) China to have 250 times the population of the U.S.

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