Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Social Network

Before I begin, I will say I have no idea why this is the first entry in what? Five months? It got to be such a long time that I ended up thinking I needed something big, like massive, to write about to break the months-long silence, and this is it: I know nearly nothing about Mark Zuckerberg, I know little about the origins of Facebook, and I know the movie that just came out is getting good reviews.

More information. I'm the same age as the main characters in the movie. I graduated college in 2005, which means me and Mark are kin in some way, generationally, as much as two people could be.

And there's this feeling I get about what I see in that movie. The guy did something, he had an idea and went with it, and look what he has. It's not the fame or the money that I'm talking about. It's this chasm I see between those in their forties and older and what I see in my peers. I feel close to this guy, Mark.

There are several things I've read in the past few months that say to me that my generation is a lost one on the edge of a decline in what has been a long period of ascendency in American culture. For the first time in a while, they say, parents aren't sure if their children will be better off than they were.

Those born in the 50s and 60s had parents born in the 30s and 40s. From what I can tell, the "revolution" of the 60s wouldn't have happened without the stability of the 40s and 50s. But what happens when that generation has children? Us. The gen Xers and the millenials.

If a person has divorced parents and marries someone without divorced parents, they are 50% more likely to get a divorce. If both people in a marriage come from divorced homes, the likelihood is 200% greater than if they weren't.

A writer for Time magazine wrote an article after Obama was elected saying the young generation that helped elect him is the direct descendant that moved in the late 60s.

I feel like things are changing. Their parents aren't our parents. Their experience isn't much like ours. I feel like that changes something along the way, and it is this: they challenged the institutions of society and looked to take down what was built. That project failed, I would say, and what is left is the American home gutted of values that once made it strong.

What does this have to do with Mark Zuckerberg? I have no idea.

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