Not since the concept of clothing oneself, created by a Neanderthal with serious body image issues, have humans engaged in an activity so dedicatedly the way they have in Facebooking. And not since the day I got India wrong on a world map for a geography test when I was 10 have I felt more like a loser than when I watched The Social Network.
As you watch the life of Mark Zuckerberg unfurl on the big screen where he's rattling off clever one-liners and mercilessly destroying the obstacles in his path to attain god-like status, there's a sinking feeling within yourself which can be encapsulated in a question, "What the hell have I done with my life?" As an Indian you'd be tempted to blame the educational system which meant that when Americans were learning how to create websites, you were still drawing flowcharts in your computer classes. But in retrospect, I realize that the truth is a little more complex than that.
My two friends and I, after watching The Social Network, had to get intoxicated because there was a mixed feeling of zeal and emptiness that blanketed us. And we all know that those are the two feelings that serve as the unshakeable pillars on which the alcohol industry rests. As always, inebriation led to a random sharing of some interesting anecdotes. At the age of 20, when Mark Zuckerberg came up with the concept of Facebook, I was, if memory serves me right, lying on my couch munching on chips and watching Johnny Bravo. One of my friends was in his 'Bollywood-actress-obsession' phase and was plotting to abduct Anil Kapoor because he got too close to Madhuri Dixit in all his movies. And the other one, well, he was trapping flies in a bottle (he's a bit weird).
Part of the reason why I wasn't driven enough when I was younger was, I feel, owing to the only subject that intrigued me: English literature. We were exposed to these brilliant novels written over the last few hundred years, and almost all of them were written by aimless, disenchanted drunkards. There was never a role model from popular culture in front of me who was either driven or determined to make money and make it big. So I never saw the need either. I always felt that one day a culture-changing book would come out of me and change my life forever. All that came out of me, however, were short write-ups that would put me on the hit list of every religion known to man.
After an hour or so of moping and whining, my friends and I decided, to hell with repenting the lost years. In the next few hours, we would come up with an idea so mind-boggling that it would take the world by storm and result in us partying with girls who made Megan Fox look like Bappi Lahiri.
I was taken with the idea of a website where people could come and vent their anger on anyone they wanted. Until my friends reminded me one can do that on Facebook. Other ideas that came up were a portal for confessions, expressing your weirdest views, bitching about your friend’s et al. Until we realized all of it could be done on Facebook. The three of us looked at each other and we all had the same thought in our head. We logged onto Facebook and updated our statuses to: Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg!