Sunday, April 15, 2018


I saw Social Network. That movie that detailed the rise of Mark Zuckerberg and his pet app, Facebook. It starred Jesse Eisenberg who, it should come as small surprise, went on to appear as Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor a few years later. Typecasting?
So, here's what I have to say about Mister Zuckerberg's invention: I don't know that much about it. I do not maintain a presence, though I am in charge of my school's Facebook page. It's a pretty low-stakes affair, with a few pictures of kids and reminders for parents about minimum days and the like. I don't spend any time browsing other people's pages or searching for connections. My friends are, for the most part, flesh and blood and can be reached in other ways aside from social media.
Not that I frown on those who Facebook. It is one of the main avenues of communication between my wife and son, and I am always intrigued to find, over the transom from my wife, that this person or that person has popped up or gotten married or been released from prison. I wish that I had the time and patience to fuss over what my profile picture is, or how many likes I get on this or that. Here in Blogtopia, I am always pleased to discover that I have more than a half dozen peeks at what I have to say on any given day.
It is my career as a teacher of technology that my gripe with The Facebook begins and ends. The age limit set by Zuckerberg and his machine is thirteen. You must be at least as old as your incipient teenager to join those ranks. Why then, if I don't have any students that old, do I have anyone wanting to look at their Facebook page? Could it be that the rules and regulations surrounding this and other oases of cyber-connection are more lax than they ought to be? "Do you swear that you are at least thirteen years old?" Click yes. "Well, okay then."
Which is why it was no real surprise to me that Mark Zuckerberg found himself on Capitol Hill last week, testifying before congress about all the ways in which his company may or may not have led to the downfall of western civilization. Or helped swing a presidential election. Or leaking data to any Tom, Dick or Cambridge Analytica that happened to bump into it. I confess that I stayed away from Facebook for so long because I figure if anyone I knew from high school wanted to find me, they would come looking for me in the most likely place: Here. I am gratified to think that staying away from the red pill as long as I have. It does mean that I miss out on a lot of zany antics by animals. And the opportunity to rate them.

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