How “The Social Network” Might Foreshadow the Fall of University
By Stevan Crary
“The Social Network” is a film about a nerd who only wore sandals and had a big idea, later becoming a billionaire after working through many lawsuits. The 2010 release about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook not only gave an inside look at the rise of social media, but the realities of college life and its future in the education system. 
The movie follows Mark Zuckerberg as a nerdy loser who can’t find acceptance in his love life or various groups on Harvard University’s campus. He then comes up with the revolutionary idea of creating a site that will connect college students. Mark is joined by different students to make the dream a reality, like the business major Eduardo Saverin who acts as a CFO and sponsor for the project. Your grandparent’s social media of choice was then born: Facebook.
This engaging story highlighted a large pro of going to a university—it can allow students to connect with other people of different practices to create unique innovations. Still, Zuckerberg started a social media tsunami that changed the world that might be undermining the very means by which it was formed.
Submerged in the depths of the internet age, people often debate whether college is essential. It is so easy to learn skills online such as on YouTube, and connect with different people, making universities more irrelevant.
In addition, universities are expensive. According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. students are taking on more student debt than before. [2, 3] The ratio of education received to what is being paid out might not be worth the expense.
This online learning and connection trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Zuckerberg is attempting to put the last nail in the coffin. On October 28, 2021, he announced his new parent company, Meta. He has ambitions to create a more accessible education through the next generation of social media: The Metaverse. It will combine virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities with the strengths of current social media. These innovations might threaten college institutions as we know them.
The future looks bright for cheaper education, but a school like our own Walla Walla University might face future trouble if it does not adapt. “The Social Network” is an engaging story but foreshadows what is to come.
- Fincher, D. (Director). (2010). The Social Network [Motion picture]. Columbia Pictures.
- G19/CCOUT/DTCTLNS_N.M. (n.d.). federalreserve.gov. https://bit.ly/3oDuh9T
- G19/CCOUT/DTCTLNS_XDF_BA_N.M. (n.d.) federalreserve.gov. https://bit.ly/34HyWka