Just got home from seeing The Social Network with my 11-year old son who is both a computer lover and budding entrepreneur.
And I have to say, watching the story with my son of how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in the dorm rooms of Harvard enhanced my overall enjoyment of the film in a way I wouldn’t have experienced had I watched it with peers.
We both appreciated the story for its basic elements: characters, plot, climax, resolution. But Ben noticed parts of the movie that I didn’t. Without giving anything away, there is a scene in which a chimney breaks apart. Ben thought that was pretty “cool.” He also stated that his older sister “probably wouldn’t like this movie because it’s all about business.”
I thought that was an astute and rather mature remark coming from the mouth of a 6th grader.
He especially appreciated the business aspects of the movie and was blown away to learn that Facebook was started with an initial $1000 investment.
“When you think about that it’s valued in the billions of dollars today, that’s a pretty good return on investment,” he said as we walked out to the car.
(When did my son get so smart about business investing?!)
While I couldn’t helping cringing when some of the more mature scenes came along (Ben is still very innocent when it comes to sex, drugs, and rock n roll), I also recognize that watching a compelling story with him based loosely around the founding of Facebook — a tool he uses, I use, just about everyone we know uses — is part of his education. To sugar-coat reality is not part of my parenting philosophy even if it means exposing my kids to some of life’s darker sides.
Rather, to see how the idea for Facebook evolved, how the business grew, how people were affected by and responded to the changes that naturally occur when a business takes off…all of these are real-world lessons I want my children to learn and be able to discuss with them.
If you haven’t yet seen The Social Network, I encourage you to get out to see it. Not only is the story fascinating, but the acting is well-done and you leave the theater thinking about the power of living in the Internet Age. With Facebook now as much a part of 500 million user’s days as are eating and sleeping, it really is interesting — and a tad chilling — to get a behind-the-scenes look at how this social platform got its start.
If you have seen The Social Network, what were your takeaways? What did you like or not like about it? I always appreciate comments so go ahead and leave them below! And if we aren’t yet connected on Facebook, go ahead and click on the Facebook tab to the right of this post! 🙂