the social network

We watched "The Social Network" last night, about the beginnings of Facebook. Very well done. What struck me is how the developers of Facebook were able to capitalize on human social dynamics and the desire to be included, to feel like "one of us."

One of the main ideas in the beginning was that it would be for Harvard University only. That exclusivity was a selling point. Anyone can join now. But you have to join; if you haven't joined there's very little you can access on anyone's page. And there's also the dynamic of "friending," which gives you more access when people accept you as friends. It plays on the desire to be included and accepted, drawing you into more engagement with the site. And this has made the owners of Facebook billionaires.

I think this is ultimately appealing to our deepest desire to be a part of the one Body. We make endless attempts to be included, to belong, to be "part of something greater than myself." And organizations (including communal organizations) and businesses and nations all capitalize on that desire, promising to fulfill it. Of course they never can. They always disappoint, and eventually collapse or leave us disillusioned. There's only one corporate entity that satisfies our deepest desire for connection and acceptance.

And it's not at all exclusive.