Why I’m Not on Facebook
Brant Pinvodic (2014)
This is a documentary by a father struggling with the decision whether to allow his 13 year old son to join Facebook. After interviewing the Winklevoss twins, who claim to be the true originators of Facebook,* Pinvodik conducts a weird experiment in which a group of young Facebook fanatics construct a glamorous fake profile for him. When he’s instantly bombarded by “friend” requests, he phones a number of his new “friends” and attempts visits them at home. He’s extremely surprised by the number of celebrities who “friend” him, including Roseanne Barr.
He then consults an investigator who demonstrates how easy it is to access our personal information online – even when we aren’t on Facebook. Within minutes the investigator locates Pinvodic’s drivers license number, tax information and Amazon purchases, as well as the school his kids attend.
Pinvodic finishes with an examination of Facebook addiction. In addition to interviewing a teenager who spends 12+ hours a day on Facebook, he visits a psychologist specializing in narcissism. The latter maintains that Facebook appeals to two of the most powerful human emotions: narcissism and insecurity. By making ordinary people feel famous and significant, it enables them to become stars in their own limited universe.
In the end, the filmmaker concludes Facebook has both advantages and drawbacks. It can help people find jobs, kidney donors and long lost friends. On the downside are its addictive potential and the immense amount of personal information it collects for the benefit of US intelligence and corporate advertisers.
*The twins eventually sued Mark Zuckerberg, who currently runs Facebook, and won a $65 million settlement Winklevoss Twins Win Facebook Settlement