Website behind “The Social Network” Movie: UD Professor Weighs in


It seemed impossible for Facebook to get anymore popular.  The site already has 500 million users, how could it possibly gain more publicity? Well, thanks to the release of The Social Network movie, even more eyes are on the web site. The movie was the top grossing film last weekend, earning 22.4 million in its opening weekend.

Yes, Facebook is obviously extremely popular, but a researcher in the Congressional Quarterly Researcher raise the question: Is the social networking site hurting us?  The author asked UD Associate Communication Professor Scott Caplan to weigh in on the debate.

Caplan said young people today want to be famous and Facebook provides them with a way to do it, referring to Facebook “friends” as fans instead.

But “in normal healthy conversation in real life you ask questions,”and everyone involved is supposed, “to show interest in each other as well as telling things about themselves.”

By contrast, in many cases, “Facebook ‘friends’ should really be called ‘fans.'”

“What I put up there [in Facebook postings] is narcissistic stuff for my fans, like saying that I had box seats for a Phillies game.  This is a narcissistic enterprise.”

“As a result, it may be becoming more important to impress people with minute details of your life” than engage in a real back and forth conversation.

~Quote by Scott Caplan from “Social Networking” by Marcia Clemmitt

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