The Social Network – A Review

October 17, 2010

There’s a quote from a poem by Henry Van Dyke that I think sums up Facebook’s appeal: “…the heart’s immortal thirst to be completely known and all forgiven.” Dave Eggers quoted this line at the start of his best-selling memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Published in 2000, a few years before blogs and Facebook pages made autobiographies obsolete, Eggers book anticipated our collective need to shine a spotlight on our souls. Eggers was desperate for his every thought to be completely known (and all forgiven) in the 90s, for God’s sake. He knew the future was about splaying your life for others to read; no detail too personal, no person denied the right to judge. Facebook just digitised the process.

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