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article imageMark Zuckerberg, Facebook, and ‘The Social Network’

By Kay Mathews     Sep 21, 2010 in Entertainment
What do we know about Mark Zuckerberg? Advertisements about the upcoming release of the movie The Social Network have prompted not only interest in the film but also curiosity about Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The Social Network is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich. And, while it may seem to some that Facebook has been around for decades, the movie is a reminder that “” was created in 2003 by Mark Zuckerberg and his friend Eduardo Saverin, two undergraduate students at Harvard University.
Random House, Inc. describes Mezrich’s book as “The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.”
The book was released in July of 2009 and The Social Network is scheduled to be released October 1, 2010.
The Social Network’s web page provides this synopsis of the movie:
On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history…but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. From director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin comes The Social Network, a film that proves you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.
The movie focuses upon 19-year old Zuckerberg, who later became the C.E.O. of Facebook.
Actor Jesse Eisenberg.  2010-07-20.
Actor Jesse Eisenberg. 2010-07-20.
In what may be the leading role of his acting career, 26-year-old Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg. Eisenberg’s screen roles to date include playing “Jimmy,” Christina Ricci’s character’s little brother, in Wes Craven’s 2005 movie Cursed and acting alongside Woody Harrelson in the 2009 movie Zombieland.
Advertisements for The Social Network in theaters and on television are generating interest in a film that, as can be seen in the trailer, Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers calls, “The movie of the year that also brilliantly defines the decade.”
The movie promises to tell viewers more about the teenage Zuckerberg, but what do we know about the current version of Mark Zuckerberg?
Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page reads “People who aren’t friends with Mark see only some of his profile information” yet there is no “Add as Friend” option. Though, “If you know Mark personally,” you can send him a message.
Those who are not Facebook friends with the 26-year-old billionaire personally can, however, read his public profile information.
Zuckerberg’s “Bio” is one sentence: I’m trying to make the world a more open place.
Other basic biographical information and “Likes and Interests” let the curious know about Zuckerberg’s birthday (May 14, 1984), current city (Palo Alto, CA), hometown (Dobbs Ferry, NY), high school (Phillips Exeter Academy ’02), employers (Facebook, February 2004 - Present), interests (e.g., Making Things, Breaking Things, Minimalism, Revolutions, Information flow, Openness, etc.), Music (e.g., Green Day, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Shakira, etc.), and Movies (e.g., Gladiator, Troy, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Star Wars, etc.).
Writer Jose Antonio Vargas is a person who wanted to know more about Mark Zuckerberg. Vargas interviewed Zuckerberg for his article in The New Yorker called "The Face of Facebook."
In this article, readers learn that Zuckerberg, "or Zuck," is about five feet eight, medium built, pale, red-green color-blind, and has "short, curly brown hair with blue eyes." Vargas states that Zuckerberg's "affect can be distant and disorienting, a strange mixture of shy and cocky" and "he sometimes talks like an Instant Message—brusque, flat as a dial tone—and he can come off as flip and condescending, as if he always knew something that you didn’t."
The point in the interview at which Zuck got animated was when "he described his youthful adventures in coding." Zuckerberg told Vargas, “I had a bunch of friends who were artists. They’d come over, draw stuff, and I’d build a game out of it.”
At the age of 11, Zuckerberg had a computer tutor, software developer David Newman, who told Vargas that Zuckerberg "was a prodigy."
The prodigious child grew up to be the youngest billionaire in the history of billionaires; yet, he rents his four-bedroom two-story house and drives an Acura TSX because a friend told him it would be "safe, comfortable, not ostentatious." Zuckerberg's current lifestyle appears to reflect his interest in "minimalism."
In a LA Times blog discussion of the Vargas article, Goldstein states:
After the New Yorker's Jose Antonio Vargas notes that the film's image of Zuckerberg as an "unsmiling, insecure and sexed-up young man" will be hard to overcome, Zuckerberg offers perhaps the most sustained response he gives in the entire article, saying, "I think a lot of people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, 'Oh, well, he was like that. ... He must still be like that, right?'"
Goldstein concludes that it will be hard "for Zuckerberg to erase the bad buzz he's going to get from the way he's portrayed in 'The Social Network.'"
In the end, however, as screenwriter Aaron Sorkin told Vargas about The Social Network, “It’s a group of, in one way or another, socially dysfunctional people who created the world’s great social-networking site.” Or, perhaps, an insight into the role played by socially dysfunctional people in defining the decade.
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