Foucault’s Facebook & the Social Network

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In the April/May 2015 issue of Philosophy Now, Robin Rymarczuk applies Michel Foucault’s concept of the heterotopic space to Facebook, and by extention to other forms of social media and the space of the Internet at large. Foucault himself defines heterotopic spaces as those “real and effective spaces which are outlined in the very institution of society, but which constitute a sort of counterarrangement” (‘Of Other Spaces’, 1967). In his essay “The Heterotopia of Facebook,” Rymarczuk offers an illustrative analysis:

“’The mirror is a placeless place,’ Foucault says. ‘In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface.’ The mirror is a heterotopic space because it is ‘absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it.’ It fully represents the real world, although it is elsewhere. Facebook is the virtual embodiment of Foucault’s mirror metaphor. We see ourselves on the screen in a sort of image. Our profile pages always reflect ourselves back at us, while that same image of ourselves opens up a world where we are not. This is why Facebook is a hetertopia. In Foucaultian terms, Facebook is a ‘disrupting’ space which turns our usual world on its head by disturbing its ‘continuity and normality’. You exit the normal world when you log in; but still you are involved in representing a version of normal life.”

In short, we are to understand that a heterotopia is a real place wherein society is both represented and distorted, and done so in a way that illuminates particular cultural ideologies—about race and gender, economics and politics, religion and science, the self and the other.

In the ways that The Social Network portrays the origination and function of Facebook, how does the film make evident the concept of Foucault’s heterotopia? Consider the way Mark Zuckerberg’s character is reflected through the mirror of the Internet. What about Erica Albright’s character? (Consider, also, how the trailer for this film implicates all Facebook users’ participation in this space.)

Through these reflections, as well as the rapid and continued popularity of Facebook, what conclusions can we draw about our culture’s current ideologies in regard to how we view, represent, and create ourselves? What does The Social Network suggest about our identities and our relationships with each other? What are “the other real arrangements that can be found within society” (in both the film’s Harvard society and our broader contemporary society)? How are these arrangements simultaneously “represented, challenged, and overturned” in this “other space” that Facebook creates?

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  1. "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around
    You’re so…special
    I wish I was special"

    Radiohead – Creep

    Facebook is truly a unique experience. It is an experience that allows people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to "fit in" or feel "special." It is a  place where you control, better yet, construct your own social environment. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to replace words (comments) that have already been spoken. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to edit pictures so people see only what you choose them to see. As Zuckerberg mentioned in "The Social Network," he wanted Facebook to be a social experience like no other. 
    
    In "Philosophy Now," Rymarczuk quotes Foucault as describing the function of heteropia as, "creat[ing] a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory." The concept of the "real space" being an illusion or some type of mirage, brings one to question one's purpose for being on social media. Is it truly to connect with friends and family or has it become a place where you, as Rymarczuk puts it, "Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act--a performance." 
    
    Zuckerberg demonstrates this in the movie, "The Social Network," when he sends Erica Albright (pre-Facebook inception friend) a "friend request" through Facebook. His obsession with trying to be noticed by "other people," inevitably destroyed his friendship with her in the "real" world. During a conversation with her, he constantly spoke of wanting to be "noticed." Despite her constant affirmations of his character, despite her "noticing" him (as they were in a relationship) and her encouraging words, for some reason, that was not enough for him; he simply couldn't escape the heterotopian black hole of his "real space being an illusion." 
    
    The need for acceptance, the longing to be "liked" by more and more people is what drives the engine that is Facebook. As the song "Creep" plays during the trailer for "The Social Network," we see people sharing images of themselves, we see people sharing precious moments, we even see people sharing their thoughts, no matter how mundane. It would seem as if people, through Facebook, have  adopted the mindsets of both Zuckerberg and Creed: 
    

    "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around…"

    In Faulcault's lecture, "Of Other Spaces," he states:
    

    "…there is a certain form of heterotopia that I would call crisis heterotopias, i.e., there are privileged or sacred or forbidden places, reserved for individuals who are, in relation to society and to the human environment in which they live, in a state of crisis:.."

    In a sense, Facebook is a "crisis heterotopia." As a society, we view "lack of acceptance" as a crisis. We feel as though, if someone doesn’t fit into what society deems to be "normal," then something has to be wrong with said individual. Society forces people to feel as though they must be a part of some group, or a member of some sort of society, just to get a job, or make friends, or network. The deceit of exclusivity, is what many seek when logging on to Facebook, or any form of social media for that matter.

    Social media has become our "sanctuary." Social media has become that place we seek out to escape the "crisis" of rejection. Ironically, the feeling of rejection in the "real world," is just as much of an "illusion," as the feeling of acceptance via social media.
    
  2. How ironic is Facebook? It’s a social networking site created by a man who is socially awkward. In the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed to be a man who is highly intelligent, yet lacks understanding in how to form meaningful relationships. The movie starts with Mark Zuckerberg and his then girlfriend, Erica Albright, in a crowded restaurant. In what seemed to start off as a meaningful conversation between the two about Zuckerberg wanting to be accepted by clubs at Harvard, quickly escalated into Zuckerberg’s talking condescendingly and with a lack of compassion towards Erica. Zuckerberg is only able to communicate with brutal honesty and lacks empathy. Much to his surprise, Erica breaks off the relationship with Zuckerberg. This break-up became Zuckerberg’s obsession and the beginning of Facebook. If it were not for Zuckerberg’s social awkwardness, Facebook would not have been Facebook. Because he was unable to make friends and did not understand the proper way in which to carry normal conversations with people, he was able to envision a perfect place where people can make connections on the internet that seemed unachievable to him in reality.
    After reading Robin Rymarczuk’s “The Heterotopia of Facebook,” I kept repeating one statement over and over in my mind. That statement is “a heterotopia always represents society, yet distorts it in such a way that it reveals a culture’s ideology.” That one statement has summarized what Facebook represents. How many pictures do you take prior to posting to your Facebook page? How many filters did you use? How many times did you crop it or edit it? How many friends do you have on Facebook, and of those friends, how many are truly your friends? How many times while at work, in the car, or at dinner are you checking in or checking up? In the trailer of The Social Network ,it leads with profile pictures, relationship statuses, happy pictures as well as sad, and the opening scene of Zuckerberg explaining to Erica why it was so important for him to do something big in order to get the attention of the clubs at Harvard. He wanted to be accepted and wanted others to like him. He wanted to belong and fit in. What an individual posts on Facebook is what they perceive to be a better version of themselves. The Social Network ultimately suggests that we identify ourselves by our associations. The majority of people ultimately want to be accepted and liked by everyone, which is why some accept every friend request that they get or crop, edit, and filter all their pictures. Today everyone is worried about pleasing others, whether it is what they wear or who they are dating, people are willing to become something they are not to be accepted by others.
    Facebook has turned out to be a double-edged sword. On one side, it helps us to stay connected with those far away, invite others to events without having to take time to address envelopes, to show off our accomplishments, and to belong. On the other side of the sword, however, it has become a place to air other’s dirty laundry, spread rumors, for children to bully other children, spread hate, and end relationships. As Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Facebook was the only the beginning of social networking experience. Social networking is the new normal and has replaced what restaurants and coffee houses used to be used for, a place to gather and chat with friends. Facebook will always be around, even if it’s not called Facebook. Zuckerberg created a masterpiece and, whether you like it or not, it’s here to stay.

  3. Zuckerberg’s Heterotopia

    Heterotopia, is the perfect way to describe Facebook as we use it in society, and it is evident that The Social Network tells a story of one man (with some co-creators and outside inspirations) striving to create a space that is both present and non- present for all who use it.  As Sean Parker’s character says “We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!”.  In this cocaine induced exclamation, Sean hit the nail on its proverbial head.  The Social Network is about moving our relationships and lives to the internet, a place where your identity can be whatever it is you want to put out there.  In Zuckerberg’s case, he can not be Erica Albright’s friend in real life due to his attitude and personally attacking her on the internet, but perhaps, on Facebook he can ask for a different kind of friendship.  The film is suggesting that people can live in the present world but also have an online life with different standards of friendship and socialization.  The film makes a strong case that Harvard's arrangement, even the email domain, is so exclusive that only a privileged few get experience it.  Facebook, something invented by an outcast of Harvard, connects everyone at Harvard and eventually everyone, everywhere.  This was the start of taking “the other real arrangements” such as Harvard, Church groups,celebrities, and challenging the exclusivity of any group.  Everyone is connected to everyone in these online societies, so much so that one can interact with the any number of previously unaccessible groups and people. The traditional social arrangements, person to person and group to group, have been altered permanently by Facebook in that they can exist in normal life but they can also exist online, in a place that everyone can access.<br /> Zuckerberg’s character is reflected through the mirror of the internet as a brilliantly creative man that is able to connect massive numbers of people in ways not seen before.  It is a stark contrast to how he is perceived and how he perceives himself at Harvard: an surly outcast whose brilliance is lost on others.  Rymarczuk says:<br /> “Facebook’s function is best summed up by what Foucault said was typical of all heterotopias: they are “counter–sites, a kind of effectively-enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.”  Representing culture in a unique way is surely what Facebook does.  It also represents culture through the eye of the user.  The user can ultimately tailor their Facebook experience to their exact specifications, seeing only what they want to see, blocking what they don’t want to see, to create a space that serves their needs.  As the The Social Network’s trailer practically screams: everyone wants to feel special, so very special.  Facebook users can do this every day by creating a place to their specifications that links them to who they want while providing an outlet to project their voice to a gigantic audience.<br />    This is, Zuckerberg’s utopia as presented by the film, a place where people can move their “real life” identities online and up to a point, start over.  This is The Social Network’s end game.  It suggests that even if we can’t interact with each other in real life, we can interact and create relationships online that are just as important as “real” relationships.  It has changed society’s ideologies in that we now view online interactions with a similar lens as we do personal interactions.  We can now create, recreate, and represent ourselves online in a way that better expresses our own perceived image.  This is a societal ideal in that, online, one can seemingly have unlimited chances and creating an image that reflects who they think they are.
    
  4. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, represents himself in the heterotopic space. Zuckerberg’s character in the film, The Social Network is a socially awkward genius who hid behind the computer screen. He is one of millions of people who shape or create an altered identity on social media. There are various times throughout the film when Zuckerberg’s use of the Internet illustrates Foucault’s concept of heterotopia. Robin Rymarczuk, the author of The Heterotopia of Facebook, mentions, “You exit the normal world when you log in; but still you are involved in representing a normal life.” In the film you can see that Zuckerberg’s character does not realize that a person represents themselves online, just like they do in the real world. When signing on to a social media website people get impressions of a person, just as they do in real life.
    One of the first times this is seen throughout the movie is when he goes on a date with Erica Albright, and it does not turn out the way he hoped it would. He then resorts to social media to belittle Albright. Zuckerberg posts to his blog “Erica Albright is a bitch. I need to think of something to take my mind off her. Easy enough now I just need an idea..” Would he have said this face- to- face? We find out that in person, he is a totally different person. When he runs into Albright after he came up with the idea of Facebook. He was calm and collected, he was nothing like the person who was behind the computer screen. Behind the computer screen he called Albright mean names, but in person he did not have the will to be mean. In fact it was the other way around. Albright was mean to him in person, she did not have to hide behind the computer screen to make herself feel like a better person. Albright was angered over what he posted, as any person would be. Albright says to Zuckerberg sarcastically, “Every thought that tumbles through your head is clever, it would be a crime for that not to be shared.” This argument shows that Albright is not letting social media change the person she is, but Zuckerberg is.
    After this argument, Zuckerberg says he must expand. Once again, he uses social media to help with his anger by using his anger to come up with other ideas on how to make his new website bigger and better. Another time Zuckerberg plays into the concept of heterotopia is when the Winklevoss brothers come to him with an idea. The Winklevoss’ said that they could build his reputation back up, after it went down with the ‘Facemash’ website. Zuckerberg instead took their idea to fix his reputation, and changed it up a little to make it his own. This shows, he used Facebook to save his reputation. At the end of the film, Marylin Delpy, lawyer for the defense, tells Zuckerberg, “You’re not an asshole Mark, you’re just trying to so hard to be” (Delpy). This shows that he is being changed by the Internet. Zuckerberg was made into someone he is not because of the Internet. As seen in the quote above the Internet made him try too hard to be something he is not.

    In conclusion, our world revolves around social media. People are constantly commenting about what they saw on Facebook. A person can change how people look at them through social media by creating this ‘image’ of themselves. Erving Goffman, author of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, states,“the self is always a performance, that individuals attempt to control the impression that others have of them.” A person puts on a ‘performance’, and they choose the impression they give. Zuckerberg was able to change the impression others have of him many times throughout his life, all because of social media. A person can scroll through social media and see how people view, represent, and create themselves. Social media allows a person to be the same as they are in real life, or create themselves into something they are not.

  5. Facebook & Our Wish to Be Special

    After reading Robin Rymarczuk’s article in the April/May 2015 issue of Philosophy Now, it was hard not to feel a certain level of surprise and interest. In this article, Rymarczuk describes Facebook, the popular social networking site, in terms of the social space it inhabits, and compares it to a concept known as heterotopia. The idea of a heterotopia was first introduced in the 1960s by a French philosopher named Michel Foucault. In Foucault’s famous lecture on the subject ‘Of Other Spaces’ (1967), he described all heterotopias as “counter-sites, a kind of effectively-enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted” (‘Of Other Spaces,’ 1967). For me, this immediately struck my interest. I see Facebook as a place, or space, that represents real life. Users of Facebook may upload pictures, videos, ideas, thoughts, onto their homepage, all meant to be viewed by others. These portrayals are real, and meant to be understood as genuine representations of that person and who that person is. To me though, there has always been an aspect of Facebook that seems inauthentic.

    According to Foucault, as mentioned by Rymarczuk in his article, the function of the heterotopia “is to create a space that is other, another real space, as perfect, as meticulous, as well arranged as ours is messy, ill constructed, and jumbled” (‘Of Other Spaces’ 1967). If we are to consider this as an accurate description, then it is not hard to believe that some may begin to see Facebook as the preferred space in which to represent themselves. It is exactly this that has always left me questioning the authenticity of what is portrayed on Facebook. Each Facebook user has the ability to control, for the most part at least, what information about themselves in included on the site, including pictures, videos, thoughts, etc. This is an aspect of Facebook that can be very different when compared to how we choose to represent ourselves in face-to-face interactions. Here it can be seen as one example of how Facebook is a representation of reality, but at the same time, is very different than reality. Yes, I would agree that it could be argued that we control what we portray about ourselves in face-to-face encounters as well, but how we are able to control our image in person-to-person interactions is very different than how we do so on Facebook.

    As I explore this topic further, I will include as well my thoughts on the movie The Social Network, how it may help us better understand this idea of Facebook as a heterotopia, and what it may be saying about ourselves as a culture.

    Before watching the movie The Social Network, I viewed the trailer. I tried to ask myself what message the creator was perhaps trying to send to its viewers about the Facebook. As the collage of various user images and posts were being shuffled on the screen, I couldn’t help but notice the song Creep by Radiohead was playing in the background, a song I happen to know well. The verses of the song that the creator chose to include were, “I don’t care if it hurts. I want to have control. I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul. I want you to notice, when I’m not around. You’re so very special. I wish I was special.” I believe the creator was trying to express his feelings or views on the how the Facebook is used by most people. The lyrics speak of wanting control, and implies the insecurities that seem to motivate many people’s activity on Facebook. They imply the need for us to be noticed, and in seeing how special other people’s lives seem on Facebook, the desire for our own lives to feel special. The song is also being covered by a group of girls, perhaps hinting to its message being directed more towards girls. The images are also mostly of girls or women, often in beauty poses or vulnerable positions, and the thoughts posted are typically of very few words, meaning that people are expressing themselves mostly with images of themselves, short thoughts, and statuses. With so much emphasis being placed on beauty in our society, and with girls and women arguably feeling the majority of this pressure, it can be seen how this type of Facebook activity could only lead to more feelings of pressure and insecurity for girls, especially young girls. With a photo, a person can only be judged or viewed by their physical appearance, thus leading to a culture where even more focus is put on appearance.

    The Social Network portrayed Facebook’s inception as being littered with deceit and mistrust. In the film, Mark Zuckerberg’s character was being constantly driven and motivated by his own insecurities, feelings of hurt and jealousy. From the beginning, his obsessive pursuit to be noticed had a negative effect on the relationships of his friends and (ex)girlfriend, which to me seems counter-productive. When his efforts to be accepted into the social circles he wanted failed, he decided to create a space where he could decide the rules. In the film, he stated that he needed “to do something substantial in order to get the attention of the clubs” (The Social Network), so he created something that he thought would get him that attention. For a person who seemed to have so much trouble fitting in socially, and after his virtual triumphs with his hot or not site, he thought the best option for him would be “taking the entire social experience of college, and putting it online” (The Social Network). It was here, in this “other space,” that he found his way to be noticed in a real space, but a space where he was in control.

    It goes without saying that Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg, have made their mark on history and the culture of our world. If Mark Zuckerberg’s goal was to be noticed, I feel safe in saying that he achieved his goal. But at what cost? The film ends with Mark Zuckerberg friend requesting his ex-girlfriend, then waiting and refreshing repeatedly to see if she has accepted him. This leaves the viewer to almost pity him. Where his goals mixed up? Are we to really believe that his goals were really only to be noticed? Also, how has Facebook changed our culture and society? With our young people spending so much of their time on social media, it is hard not to think that the way they interact among each other and with others will be forever altered. Also, with so much of our personal identities being expressed online through photos and videos, will the adults of the future perhaps be shallower, more narcissistic, or even more insecure?

  6. "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around
    You’re so…special
    I wish I was special"

    Radiohead – Creep

    Facebook is truly a unique experience. It is an experience that allows people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to &quot;fit in&quot; or feel &quot;special.&quot; It is a  place where you control, better yet, construct your own social environment. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to replace words (comments) that have already been spoken. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to edit pictures so people see only what you choose them to see. As Zuckerberg mentioned in &quot;The Social Network,&quot; he wanted Facebook to be a social experience like no other.
    
    In &quot;Philosophy Now,&quot; Rymarczuk quotes Foucault as describing the function of heteropia as, &quot;creat[ing] a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory.&quot; The concept of the &quot;real space&quot; being an illusion or some type of mirage, brings one to question one's purpose for being on social media. Is it truly to connect with friends and family or has it become a place where you, as Rymarczuk puts it, &quot;Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act--a performance.&quot; 
    
    Zuckerberg demonstrates this in the movie, &quot;The Social Network,&quot; when he sends Erica Albright (pre-Facebook inception friend) a &quot;friend request&quot; through Facebook. His obsession with trying to be noticed by &quot;other people,&quot; inevitably destroyed his friendship with her in the &quot;real&quot; world. During a conversation with her, he constantly spoke of wanting to be &quot;noticed.&quot; Despite her constant affirmations of his character, despite her &quot;noticing&quot; him (as they were in a relationship) and her encouraging words, for some reason, that was not enough for him; he simply couldn't escape the heterotopian black hole of his &quot;real space being an illusion.&quot; 
    
    The need for acceptance, the longing to be &quot;liked&quot; by more and more people is what drives the engine that is Facebook. As the song &quot;Creep&quot; plays during the trailer for &quot;The Social Network,&quot; we see people sharing images of themselves, we see people sharing precious moments, we even see people sharing their thoughts, no matter how mundane. It would seem as if people, through Facebook, have  adopted the mindsets of both Zuckerberg and Creed: 
    

    "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around…"

    In Faulcault's lecture, &quot;Of Other Spaces,&quot; he states:
    

    "…there is a certain form of heterotopia that I would call crisis heterotopias, i.e., there are privileged or sacred or forbidden places, reserved for individuals who are, in relation to society and to the human environment in which they live, in a state of crisis:.."

    In a sense, Facebook is a "crisis heterotopia." As a society, we view "lack of acceptance" as a crisis. We feel as though, if someone doesn’t fit into what society deems to be "normal," then something has to be wrong with said individual. Society forces people to feel as though they must be a part of some group, or a member of some sort of society, just to get a job, or make friends, or network. The deceit of exclusivity, is what many seek when logging on to Facebook, or any form of social media for that matter.

    Social media has become our &quot;sanctuary.&quot; Social media has become that place we seek out to escape the &quot;crisis&quot; of rejection. Ironically, the feeling of rejection in the &quot;real world,&quot; is just as much of an &quot;illusion,&quot; as the feeling of acceptance via social media.
    
  7. In Robin Rymarczuk’s article in the April/May 2015 issue of Philosophy Now, Rymarczuk describes the interaction on the popular social network, Facebook, as a heterotopia, based on the ideas of Michel Foucault. Michel Foucault, a 1960s French philosopher, describes a heterotopia as a “real and effective space which [is] outlined in the very institution of society, but which constitute[s] a sort of counterarrangement”(‘Of Other Spaces’ 1967). Foucault further explains this “counterarrangement” is nothing more than “a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory” (‘Of Other Species’ 1967). Rymarczuk utilizes Foucault’s point to bring to light how Facebook influences people to hide behind the barrier of social media. Nowadays, peoples’ goals are to create a profile worth the time and interest of their Facebook friends. Facebook is inventing an era where society feels required to create an extravagant persona in order to fit in or to be cool. It has created an illusion, or a surface character that one has to constantly meet the expectations of. The Facebook profile has turned into a collage of exciting pictures that people feel they need to look their best in. This persona is only on the surface and is causing people to become introverted and can even cause a person distress because he or she is striving to be “liked” and not loved. This heterotopia is only an illusion that man has created, and this creation is subject to many paradoxes.

    Rymarczuk uses Foucault’s mirror metaphor to identify one of the many paradoxes of Facebook, “the mirror is a placeless place…In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface” (‘Of Other Species’ 1967). In my opinion his metaphor has a mistake. When someone is on Facebook I feel as if he or she is actually in that world. While this world is man made and not concrete, the world is a virtual paradigm in which one chooses to represent himself or herself in a very specific way. One has the choice of the manner in which he or she is represented. So when Rymarczuk says, “You exit the normal world when you log in; but still you are involved in representing a version of normal life,” I think he is correct in saying you are involved in the representation; but you never actually leave the normal world. In fact, the virtual world actually starts to alter your normal life. For example, the way people choose to represent themselves on Facebook can surely come back to haunt them in a job interview. The way I would correct Rymarczuk would be by saying that the heterotopia is starting to funnel into the real world and take over. And I think we see how much Facebook’s heterotopia has lingered into our reality through the movie The Social Network.
    In the trailer of the movie The Social Network I took notice of the song in the background due to my fellow classmates’ tips, and I noticed that the song’s lyrics are a cry for attention. This song is an accurate description of the desperateness of many people on Facebook to be “liked.” One of the many conversations that my friends and I had when we first joined Facebook was the infatuation of the number of friends we had. This behavior seemed normal at the time because, I mean, who doesn’t want to be popular? Popularity is what drives the actions of people. Popularity is how well liked you are. Facebook provides everyone with the numerical evidence of “friends” each person has. That’s what message the creator of the trailer wanted to the viewers to recognize, which is the common obsession to be “liked” amongst the users of Facebook.

    The Social Network makes evident the concept of Foucault’s heterotopia in the creation of Facebook because the origins of the site were based on the idea of creating a collegiate friendly world that brings the “college experience to the Internet” (The Social Network). Mark Zuckerberg’s character shows that he is pretentious and is fueled with jealously and anger throughout the movie, which are the motives for his creation of his revolutionary world. An example of Zuckerberg utilizing his anger and jealousy was when he was shunned by Erica Albright’s character. He felt the compulsion to expand and become better. Zuckerberg felt the need to be better in his virtual world or the spotlight of society. Another instance in which his jealousy came into play was when he betrayed his best friend and CFO, Eduardo, after meeting Sean Parker, who was cool and sophisticated. The Social Network also brings clarity to how culture’s ideologies have changed. Society has become more adept to being likeable and not loved. What I mean by likeable is that people want to be liked on the surface such as their appearance. People use this likeability to try to make other people jealous of their lives through the use of Facebook. People tend to hide behind the barrier of social media because they only want to be liked on the surface. They want to be perceived as cool, so they sacrifice sharing their inner selves in order to be likeable, which is where they lose their loveable qualities. If a person solely seeks to be likeable he or she will never be loved and that will cause the person to feel empty as opposed to feeling whole and happy. The emptiness comes from the root of the issue: the one-sided relationship caused by technology. We want others to have a spark of jealousy whenever they see our profiles. It is ironic that jealousy is tied into the origins of Facebook in The Social Network and how jealousy still plays a huge role in the current activity of Facebook. It seems as if the director wanted to show the root of the problem that surfaces with the use of Facebook.

    In conclusion I believe Rymarczuk’s identifying of Facebook as a heterotopia is very wrong. In my opinion, I believe that it cannot be identified as a heterotopia because though a heterotopia is described as influencing our reality, Facebook has completely taken over reality. Think about how many times one of your friends has asked you if you had seen something on Facebook recently. People are starting to use Facebook as their reality instead of using it as a reflection of who they are, which is what it was created for.

  8. Foucault refers to the role of heterotopia as “to create a space that is other, another real space, as perfect, as meticulous, as well arranged as ours is messy, ill constructed, and jumbled,” (RYMARCZUK, 2015). Zuckerberg originally created “The Facebook” so college students would have that “space” to find out about their “friends”. He wanted to create a continuous forum where friends could keep in constant contact with one another, know what is going on in their lives, etc. “The Facebook” gave people the opportunity make continuous posts, whether true or not. It gave them the outlet to get away from the “real world” whenever they wanted too. These reasons are what make Foucault’s concept evident.

    “The mirror is a placeless place,” (RYMARCZUK, 2015). My interpretation of this line is that when you look in a mirror, you do see something, however, the reflection in the mirror is not reality. I think that is also what Foucault wanted his readers to understand in referencing it to Facebook. When people log into Facebook, he explains how they enter into a different world. It is a reflection of one’s self, the way we portray it to be, not the way it really is. For instance, in the movie, Eduardo’s girlfriend became upset because “relationship” status read that he was single, when in all actuality, he had a girlfriend.

    I think Erica Albright’s character in the movie was a very important part. I think he considers her “the one that got away”. I think that is reflected at the end of the movie when he kept refreshing her page, after he sent her the Facebook friend request. I feel he never really understood the way she felt. During their dinner, he kept belittling her such as putting down the university she attended. Then after she had broken up with him, he went and blogged negative things about her. No one would want to be constantly put down by someone they are supposed to be “dating”.

    The music used for the trailer sounded pretty somber. It showed the highlights of the movie that eventually led to the lawsuits. The Facebook website allowed Zuckerberg to reinvent his identity. It made him more popular with everyone, both male and female.

  9. Socializing in the “Other Space”

    The film the Social Network opens with Mark Zuckerbergʼs character sitting in a pub on
    a date with the character Erica Albright. In this scene we are presented with Markʼs
    desire to be excepted into a Final Club, Erica and Markʼs relationship, and a remark
    made by her. “You know, from a womanʼs perspective, sometimes not singing in a
    Capella group is a good thing. . . .On the other hand, I do like guys who row crew.” This
    comment leads Mark to think she would be more attracted to him if he was one of
    “those guys”. Mark then comments that she has no need to study since she goes to BU
    (in comparison to Harvard) which doesnʼt require the same academic skill. This sets her
    off and by the end of the scene she has broken up with him. A bit further into the film he
    meets the Winklevoss twins (who row crew, come from means, are cool, attractive, etc.)
    Basically, they represent the guy he is not, and by extension, the kind of guy Erica is
    interested in. There is also his best friend Eduardo Severin who gets pledged into a
    Final Club, a position that Mark much covets. All these people represent forces that
    Mark is unable to control and that pose a challenge to him within the social structures of
    Harvard and his own being. The Winklevosses are an epitome of power, his friend
    Eduardo is someone moving up within this power system, and Erica has rejected him
    and is now unattainable.

    Following the above mentioned opening scene, Mark returns to his dorm to aggressively
    blog about Erica and create a “hot or not” ranking network between the different college
    dorms that gets 22,000 hits within one hour. In the hierarchy of Harvard (before the
    invention of Facebook), Mark was pretty much a “nobody”. He had no control over his
    placement within the system. He wished to be noticed as somebody special. Heʼs also
    experiencing a muddle of emotions after being broken up with. Guided by this impetus,
    he goes on to create the beginnings of what we now know as Facebook. He creates a
    world where he has control, or at least the illusion of it, over these circumstances and
    feelings. In a Philosophy Nowarticle, “The Heterotopia of Facebook”, Robin Rymarczuk
    quotes Michel Foucault to explain the function of a heterotopia. “ [It] is to create a
    space that is other, another real space, as perfect, as meticulous, as well arranged as
    ours is messy, ill constructed, and jumbled.” Markʼs Facebook is a good example of
    this. It is a world where he has power. Itʼs a place that isnʼt messy, but is set up to be
    just what he wants. He can hurt Erica as she has hurt him. He can be heard, and seen,
    and no longer feel small. In response to why the Winklevosses are suing him, he
    states, “[They] arenʼt suing me for intellectual property theft. They are suing me because
    for the first time in their lives, things didnʼt work out the way they were supposed to for
    them.” He is asserting his victory over them with this statement. Heʼs surpassed the
    system he once felt belittled by and manifested his own wherein he is king.

    But then thereʼs Erica. Her character seems to be a balance (as Eduardo Severinʼs
    also is to a degree) to Markʼs Facebook creation frenzy which is presented as mostly
    free of feeling in contrast to these two other characters. She reminds him of the
    difference between an online interaction and a real one. He sees her at a club having
    dinner and goes over to talk to her. He brings up Facebook and is hoping sheʼll have
    heard of it. She does not compliment him but instead lays into him for the hurtful blog
    post he wrote about her. He tries to get her to leave her friends and go speak with him
    alone which she will not. She says, “The internetʼs not written in pencil. . .itʼs written in
    ink. . .You write your snide bullshit from a dark room because thatʼs what the angry do
    nowadays.” She speaks to the internetʼs power as a vehicle to express openly and
    publicly what may have gone unsaid in person. Thereʼs also a permanence to this
    expression that is difficult for one to return from. Though his initial decision to post what
    he did may have been rash, he cannot undo it. Regardless of any change of heart, his
    anger is forever floating through the web leaving its mark. Unlike Facebook, he doesnʼt
    have the will in real life to express his feelings to her or any dominance over her in this
    situation. This points to the illusion of control he has in the world of Facebook.

    Weʼve been given a domain to canonize our lives, banal and all. A breakup is nothing
    new and most folks are familiar with the less attractive feelings that come along with
    one. The velocity with which Facebook took off points to our desire to be recognized, fit
    in, and be applauded for our social feats. It also shines light on our darker human trait
    to demonize others and collectively stone those who awaken the uglier parts of
    ourselves. The filmʼs portrayal of Markʼs experience post breakup is not unordinary.
    The way it quickly evolved from private to public though is worth considering, and how
    this manʼs choice to do what he did in the way he did has altered our social existence.
    Rymarczuk says, “By submitting the user to a process of self-exposure to others,
    Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act – a performance.” In this glamorization
    of our lives, we can turn the spotlight to accentuate our most flattering features or boo
    whomever we donʼt like off the stage. What we express in our performances, and the
    stage makeup we wear arenʼt all lies. They are a part of us. But as we become more
    and more infatuated with acting upon the internetʼs stage, does it become more difficult
    for us to look at our faces unpainted? Has it made our interactions when logged-off
    more of a performance than they were before?

    When we enter into the world Facebook or other social networks are we grasping for control and
    acceptance under a guise of connection? How much has it actually affected our ability
    to connect? At the close of the film, Mark “friend” requests Erica. Perhaps with time her
    feelings toward him have changed. Perhaps he isnʼt the “asshole” she asserted he was.
    Even at the end of the film heʼs still driven by this young woman and his want of her
    acceptance. But he doesnʼt pick up a phone to call her or try to find her. He attempts to
    reconnect to her through this “other space” that heʼs created. Presently, we do a great
    deal of our connecting this way. As a society, this virtual world of Facebook has become
    closely valued next to our terrestrial existence. If weʼre too busy (or what?) to actually
    say “Hey” or give our friend advice, a few taps and a click will do it for us. Why has
    digitalizing our social lives become so popular and accepted? Sure, Facebook and
    other social networks are used to keep up with each other, but to what effect? When we
    socialize in this other space, what are we keeping up with and what are we sacrificing?

  10. In the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg presents himself as a strong willed individual with his mind set on creating a site that allows students to contact one another. He starts off with the “Hot or Not” page and, with the help of the cofounders, is able to come up with “The Facebook”. At the end of the movie you can actually see a more sensitive side of Zuckerberg as he waits impatiently for Erica Albright to accept his friend request as he refreshes the page every few minutes. While at the beginning of the movie, after the scene in the bar, Zuckerberg posts a rather rude blog about Albright making her seem like an awful person.

    “The mirror is a placeless place”. In some ways “The Facebook” becomes the mirror. While it may be a place we can go, we can’t physically go there. It’s a representation of ourselves and a lot of it can be altered into many different variations of oneself. Many people on the site don’t always represent themselves in public as they do on the site. Is anyone ever truly honest about anything on social media? I aim to be as honest as possible, but is everyone else the same way? Many people make themselves seem like they don’t care about anything that goes on in the world and others tend to overreact to many different issues. Those people may feel that way on social media, but when they actually go out and have to explain their side of the situation, they turn the other cheek.

    The trailer of the movie makes it seem as though everyone might be consenting to having their private lives all over the internet, but when it came down to the “Hot or Not” page, most of the women were very furious with the whole idea of it. They liked the idea of judging other people, but when it came down to themselves or someone they were close to, it wasn’t as fun to them. The heterotopia of the film was definitely present. “We see ourselves on the screen in a sort of image. Our profile pages always reflect ourselves back at us, while that same image of ourselves opens up a world where we are not. This is why Facebook is a heterotopia". This quote from The Heterotopia of Facebook by Robin Rymarczuk sums up a hererotopia I noticed toward the beginning of the film. The women of the “Hot or Not” page had no clue that the images they had posted on the school-based face book would display them in such a displeasing manner. Zuckerberg wanted a place where he could have all the “friends” he wanted so he could connect with them and ultimately get into a Final Club. He made “The Facebook” his little utopia to help him.

    In conclusion, I believe Facebook still is the same was as it was in the beginning with bullies, drama, and people that like to overshare. Facebook is a way for everyone to basically hide from problems, just as Zuckerberg did when Erica decided to break-up with Mark. He couldn’t understand how to make things work between them because he was almost too smart for it and his way of coping with it was to bash her while being motivated to take his frustration out on other women with his first website he created. This behavior stemmed from being hurt about a break-up and was acted upon in the wrong way.The ideology of it is that many people may react the way he did to a similar situation. People make each other angry and that’s something we can’t avoid, but it’s definitely something we can try to control a little better.

  11. "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around
    You’re so…special
    I wish I was special"

    Radiohead – Creep

    Facebook is truly a unique experience. It is an experience that allows people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to &quot;fit in&quot; or feel &quot;special.&quot; It is a  place where you control, better yet, construct your own social environment. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to replace words (comments) that have already been spoken. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to edit pictures so people see only what you choose them to see. As Zuckerberg mentioned in &quot;The Social Network,&quot; he wanted Facebook to be a social experience like no other.
    
    In &quot;Philosophy Now,&quot; Rymarczuk quotes Foucault as describing the function of heteropia as, &quot;creat[ing] a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory.&quot; The concept of the &quot;real space&quot; being an illusion or some type of mirage, brings one to question one's purpose for being on social media. Is it truly to connect with friends and family or has it become a place where you, as Rymarczuk puts it, &quot;Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act--a performance.&quot; 
    
    Zuckerberg demonstrates this in the movie, &quot;The Social Network,&quot; when he sends Erica Albright (pre-Facebook inception friend) a &quot;friend request&quot; through Facebook. His obsession with trying to be noticed by &quot;other people,&quot; inevitably destroyed his friendship with her in the &quot;real&quot; world. During a conversation with her, he constantly spoke of wanting to be &quot;noticed.&quot; Despite her constant affirmations of his character, despite her &quot;noticing&quot; him (as they were in a relationship) and her encouraging words, for some reason, that was not enough for him; he simply couldn't escape the heterotopian black hole of his &quot;real space being an illusion.&quot; 
    
    The need for acceptance, the longing to be &quot;liked&quot; by more and more people is what drives the engine that is Facebook. As the cover version of &quot;Creep,&quot; performed by the Scala and Kolacny Brothers, plays during the trailer for &quot;The Social Network,&quot; we see people sharing images of themselves, we see people sharing precious moments, we even see people sharing their thoughts, no matter how mundane. Society, including Zuckerberg, has embodied the lyrics to the song &quot;Creep.&quot; 
    

    "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around…"

    In Faulcault's lecture, &quot;Of Other Spaces,&quot; he states:
    

    "…there is a certain form of heterotopia that I would call crisis heterotopias, i.e., there are privileged or sacred or forbidden places, reserved for individuals who are, in relation to society and to the human environment in which they live, in a state of crisis:.."

    In a sense, Facebook is a "crisis heterotopia." As a society, we view "lack of acceptance" as a crisis. We feel as though, if someone doesn’t fit into what society deems to be "normal," then something has to be wrong with said individual. Society forces people to feel as though they must be a part of some group, or a member of some sort of society, just to get a job, or make friends, or network. The deceit of exclusivity, is what many seek when logging on to Facebook, or any form of social media for that matter.

    Social media has become our &quot;sanctuary.&quot; Social media has become that place we seek out to escape the &quot;crisis&quot; of rejection. Ironically, the feeling of rejection in the &quot;real world,&quot; is just as much of an &quot;illusion,&quot; as the feeling of acceptance via social media.
    
  12. "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around
    You’re so…special
    I wish I was special"

    Radiohead – Creep

    Facebook is truly a unique experience. It is an experience that allows people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to "fit in" or feel "special." It is a place where you control, better yet, construct your own social environment. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to replace words (comments) that have already been spoken. Unlike reality, Facebook allows you to edit pictures so people see only what you choose them to see. As Zuckerberg mentioned in "The Social Network," he wanted Facebook to be a social experience like no other.

    In "Philosophy Now," Rymarczuk quotes Foucault as describing the function of heteropia as, "creat[ing] a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory." The concept of the "real space" being an illusion or some type of mirage, brings one to question one’s purpose for being on social media. Is it truly to connect with friends and family or has it become a place where you, as Rymarczuk puts it, "Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act–a performance."

    Zuckerberg demonstrates this in the movie, The Social Network, when he sends Erica Albright (pre-Facebook inception friend) a "friend request" through Facebook. His obsession with trying to be noticed by "other people," inevitably destroyed his friendship with her in the "real" world. During a conversation with her, he constantly spoke of wanting to be "noticed." Despite her constant affirmations of his character, despite her "noticing" him (as they were in a relationship) and her encouraging words, for some reason, that was not enough for him; he simply couldn’t escape the heterotopian black hole of his "real space being an illusion."

    The need for acceptance, the longing to be "liked" by more and more people is what drives the engine that is Facebook. As the song "Creep" plays during the trailer for The Social Network, we see people sharing images of themselves, we see people sharing precious moments, we even see people sharing their thoughts, no matter how mundane. It would seem as if people, through Facebook, have adopted the mindsets of both Zuckerberg and "Creep":

    "I don’t care if it hurts
    I want to have control
    I want a perfect body
    I want a perfect soul

    I want you to notice
    When I’m not around…"

    In Foucault's lecture, &quot;Of Other Spaces,&quot; he states:
    

    "…there is a certain form of heterotopia that I would call crisis heterotopias, i.e., there are privileged or sacred or forbidden places, reserved for individuals who are, in relation to society and to the human environment in which they live, in a state of crisis:.."

    In a sense, Facebook is a "crisis heterotopia." As a society, we view "lack of acceptance" as a crisis. We feel as though, if someone doesn’t fit into what society deems to be "normal," then something has to be wrong with said individual. Society forces people to feel as though they must be a part of some group, or a member of some sort of society, just to get a job, or make friends, or network. The deceit of exclusivity, is what many seek when logging on to Facebook, or any form of social media for that matter.

    Social media has become our "sanctuary." Social media has become that place we seek out to escape the "crisis" of rejection. Ironically, the feeling of rejection in the "real world," is just as much of an "illusion," as the feeling of acceptance via social media.

  13. I find the discussion of heterotopic spaces especially when applying it to a social networking tool such as Facebook, silly, and potentially superfluous. While it is true there are quantifiable sets of data that can be gathered and used to track people’s activities and happenings on this form of media, that same idea can be applied to what we refer to as the "reality" of public life. In everyday life people go through the motions to put on a show where they are presenting themselves as "acceptable", because they learned through observation and criticism from others that is how they are supposed to behave. That in its self defines reality as a false arrangement of ideas, an other place. This idea is briefly discussed in second to last paragraph of “The Heterotopia of Facebook”, by Robin Rymarczuk. In that same paragraph he annotates a very fitting argument by Erving Goffman from “The Presentation of Self in Everday Life”, “the self is always a performance” This opens the idea that maybe reality itself can be termed as a heterotopia in the same manner that we are defining Facebook as such. To more accurately represent this point of conjecture compare when someone is taking that perfect selfie (which took 400 shots to achieve) and posting it to Facebook to people cleaning up their apartments before inviting guests over. The truth in both situations is that they were not spontaneous occurrences. That person more than likely did not express those emotions the whole time making it misrepresentation of that event. Their apartment doesn’t always look so clean since they are a slob behind closed doors. Both instances represent an action taken online and in real life that are not opposite of each other as Robin Rymarczuk would define the duality of an online heterotopia.
    For a moment shift the paradigm and think about how public life for a majority of people can be seen as a heterotopia. When people are with a significant other in the comfort of their own home do they act differently than when they are in the mall with that same person? This same scenario can be applied to Facebook and viewed in a similar way. Would people in a relationship have the same conversation on their feed as they would in a private message? Why would these interactions be analogous? Simply put people tend to act differently in different situations, and that will still on hold true no matter the format of communication. When discussing a tool designed for social networking it is easy to put a face on it (such is the psychological phenomena pareidolia), or more appropriately to define it as an entirely different place by touting the idea of heterotopia.
    It is important to note that Facebook is a tool and not another place. Getting lost in the idea the internet is more than a tool and is a real heterotopia can be very risky thing to do. Facebook has conducted studies on the negative effects done by seeking validation for a picture or opinion via likes and shares. Losing an objective point of view when using the internet can lead to situations that were shown in “The Social Network” such as when Mark would vent his frustrations to a very public place about his private dealings with Erica in his blog. Mark sought validation in some manner by posting this to the web. Had he not been seeking validation but resolution he would have discussed his feelings with Erica. However, it can be conjectured that he never would have done this based on the opening scene where he constantly shoots down and berates her ideas and life choices. While Mark chose to get internet points for his feelings Erica resolved her situation by handling it in person when she told him, “the internet is not written in pencil”.

  14. Can we call Facebook the Final Final Club? The movie, The Social Network, chronicles the birth of Facebook and exposes how the need to be accepted is not only the concept of Facebook, but the driving force behind its creation. The film portrays Facebook co- creator, Mark Zuckerberg, as a Harvard undergrad student that is never accepted into one of Harvard’s elite Final Clubs and then is rejected by his girlfriend, Erica. This rejection leads Zuckerberg to create the Facebook predecessor, a “hot or not” site, which is his way for others to feel the rejection he encountered. He then needed to be the person dispensing rejection and holding the power even if it means to go about it in a less than honest manner. Later when Zuckerberg goes to his friend to tell him about starting Facebook he states,” It’s like a Final Club except we are the president.” Facebook started as an exclusive site for Harvard students, which was unveiled to one of the most sought after Finals Club first. The need to be connected to something exclusive and powerful begins to fuel Facebook’s popularity. The storyline then weaves a tale of insecurity, jealousy, acceptance, and power. At the end of the movie, one is left asking who Zuckerberg really was – a genius or someone bent on proving he was somebody. Maybe we would not have Facebook if it was not a bit of both. What was his reality versus what he wanted people to see? In the final scene in the movie, a lawyer on his team tells him “You’re not an asshole Mark. You’re just trying so hard to be.”

    The story behind Facebook, its founder and even our own use of Facebook gives us an opportunity to explore Robin Rymarczuk’s concept that Facebook is a heterotopia. A heterotopia is defined by Michel Foucault as “real and effective spaces, which are outlined in the very institution of society, but which constitute a sort of counter arrangement” (‘Of Other Spaces’, 1967). Foucault uses a mirror metaphor to further explain the concept. He says, “The mirror is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I’m not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface.” The mirror is a heterotopic space because it is “absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it.” In his essay, Rymarczuk states “Facebook is the virtual embodiment of Foucault’s mirror metaphor. We see ourselves on the screen in a sort of image. Our profile pages always reflect ourselves back at us, while that same image of ourselves opens up a world where we are not.” Facebook allows us not only to see a reflection of ourselves, but develop on the image we want others to see. I have seen people I know in “real life” lie about achievements, relationships, etc. What would be the reason? Is it because it really is a reflection of their need to lie no matter what space is represented? Maybe they rationalize that a lie is ok because this is not a real space or their real life, or is the need to be liked and accepted so great it would push them out of their normal character?

    Does Facebook just allow us to magnify what we represent ourselves as in this world? We all have roles to fulfill. Parents, friends, students, daughters, sons, parishioners. To be accepted, are we forced to create heterotopias? How many times does one do the opposite of what they feel or who they are to be socially acceptable? As shown in The Social Network these reflections are often tied to feelings of worth and belonging. The trailer for the movie views like a commercial, not for the movie, but for the site itself. It makes one feel the need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Facebook is the ultimate Final Club. So to be a part of something so grand, must one conform or put their best self on display to reach the highest level of acceptance…500 million “friends”
    Are we connecting with people just to get “likes” and validation of our ordinary lives? For example, people cook every day for their families, who may never say “Wow, this looks great!” Yet, on Facebook if we post the picture of the food we cooked we get likes and comments about that underappreciated work we put in. There are those who wish they had what a person cooked or even someone to cook for them. Does the validation that we receive from Facebook make our “real lives” just a bit more bearable? Does that virtual “pat on the back” keep us coming back for more?

  15. When the movie The Social Network came out, most people thought it was going to be a story about how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, which in a sense it was, but it was also so much more. The movie gave us an insight into the real meaning of Facebook, and how it completely changed not only Mark Zuckerberg’s life, but also as it changed Harvard, the community surrounding Harvard, and as it expanded, eventually global communication. It seems from the beginning Mark knew Facebook was going to be something big, but I don’t believe he even knew how big. For him, it was about creating something that would constantly be bringing people together, to connect, and to communicate. As Facebook grows, it becomes more evident that it a tool that people are going to constantly, and one they keep going back to for informatino and communication. But as more people join Facebook, it also becomes evident people have image they want to keep going on Facebook, even if it doesn’t truly reflect their life as they are looking the screen.

    Facebook creates this oppurtunity to become a self that is perceived as better, or improved, than the person sitting in front of the screen.  This is when the concept of Foucalt's heterotopia becomes evident in the film, The Social Network. Mark Zuckerberg's character is reflected throuh the mirror of the Internet as a sort of broken-hearted genious who is misunderstood, and can do no wrong.  In reality, he's a bit of a donkey, and doesn't seem to have a sense of personal connections, or oblivious to the fact that he is not good at having them.  Erica Albright's character is given a terrible image through the mirror of the Internet by some callous remarks Mark puts on his blog page.  This is where he comes out as looking broken-hearted, while she is made to like a terrible person with no heart.  After watching The Social Network, and experiencing first hand how Facebook works, I believe Facebook encourages us to be these simplified human beings that we are already becoming.  Facebook doesn't encourage deep thinking, and because we are constantly getting new, uploaded information we never really remember what we have just read anyway.  Facebook allows us to become this ideal person that we want to be for everyone to see, while sitting in front of the screen we are only the people we have always been.  As we make this image of ourselves on Facebook, we try to imitate that image.  If we post a bunch of excercise videos and pictures, we then want to excercise and become like the person we keep telling everyone else we are.
    
    Though Facebook has become a meaningful &quot;other real arrangement&quot; that many have taken advantage of there are many like arrangements that let us create and represent ourselves how we want to be seen.  Applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Path, Tumblr, Pinterest and many other allow us to make a perception of oursleves that we want the world to see, or what we actually want to become.  Through these various applications we allow people to believe they know us before we have a full length conversation with them. Twitter gives you 140 character to tell the world who you are, which makes people think completely differently about how they perceive information flow, and they communicate.  Instagram allows pictures and videos as the main form of communication, which makes people think about how they can best show others their perception of their world based strictly on image.  Every post, on any application, tells a story of the person who posted it, but is the story just a perception of themselves, or their true entirety?
    
  16. Changing the Face of Society

    The irony is that I was checking Facebook while watching The Social Network. This drives home the point that this social media has become not only a household name but also a part of almost everyone’s every day routines and lives. Some have claimed that they are addicted to Facebook. I’ve seen friends, Facebook friends, which have claimed they are deleting Facebook only to come back a short time later. People are drawn to sharing their lives with others, and getting their approval and also knowing what is going on in other peoples’ lives. It has become an addiction. I have sweaty palms right now thinking that I could not scroll through my newsfeed to see what was going on in the lives of others.

    So, what makes Facebook addicting and necessary? The term “Friends” has a whole new meaning since the creation of Facebook. There are hundreds of people who I am “friends” with on Facebook that I would never consider a friend outside of that world. When Facebook first became popular I remember everyone bragging about the number of “friends” they had. This boosted self-esteem because the more friends a person had the more popular they felt. Foucault’s heterotopia theory aligns with the space of Facebook. Foucault described spaces that have more than one layer of meaning beyond what is shown at face value. He uses the metaphor of a mirror. The mirror is a space that can deliver layers of meaning. Facebook is a mirror that I am not only looking into to judge myself but one I can create the image I want others to see. This has become dangerous because people do not put their failures, their ugly selfies, and their messiness on Facebook. We want people to see us as perfect. When we view others’ perfect lives we become jealous and strive for perfection that can’t be obtained. The Social Network showed how Facebook became what it is today. People had the opportunity to gain star status with voting on who the best looking girls were. This gave the voter and the votee a feeling of popularity. Mark Zuckerberg also knew that people would jump at the fact that people would feel as if they belonged to elite group by on someone’s Facebook. We also have a super star type of feeling because people are interested in what is going on in our lives. The more “likes” you get the more you know people are interested in what you have to say.

    Throughout the movie it was evident that Mark Zuckerberg was still interested in Erica. He longed to be accepted by her and at the end of the movie he sent her a friend request. He continued to refresh the page to see if she accepted. This proves that Facebook is a heterotopic space because even though we saw Erica was not interested in Mark, he would feel her acceptance or rejection through her actions to him through Facebook.

    In the article, “The Heterotopia of Facebook” by Robin Rymarczuk, she stated that the issue is not really what society does with Facebook but what Facebook did to society. Facebook changed our society forever. We have the opportunity to look into people’s personal lives and share our lives with people. People depend on Facebook for news, information, and gossip. Even though Facebook may not be as popular with the younger generations, I do not think it will die in popularity because it links us to the world around us that we did not have access to before its creation.

  17. In Robin Rymarczuk’s article The Heterotopia of Facebook, he quotes Michel Foucault in saying “un espace autre” meaning “an other space”. This is also known as Heterotopia. Facebook, in itself, is essential a world inside of our world. People use the heterotopia space of Facebook to communicate with people we know and love and people who are total strangers to us. Facebook is also used as a way to represent and show ourselves as a way we want to be see. This is done by posting pictures and status updates that show the rest of the world what we want them to see.
    Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook as a Harvard student in order to connect with other Harvard students. This was used to help grow and further existing relationships and start new ones. As Facebook grew outside of the Harvard society people saw it as a cool new way to connect with others. Many saw this space as almost like an escape from the outside world. Some used this space to create a certain persona of themselves that might not be totally true in order to attract and draw people’s attention towards them. Through the friend ability of Facebook it adds a whole new level of what we consider a friend. In Facebook people might add someone who they consider in real life but do so in order to keep up with what is occurring in their life. This is another way that Facebook is used create alternate personality that wouldn’t be as evident in the real world. Many of people find escape and relief in using Facebook by being able to post how they feel in that certain moment in time. This is an easy way to receive a form of therapy from friends. Facebook provides a feeling of connection to the real world in a different way ever known possible.
    Facebook fulfills the definition of heterotopia. Facebook is a world that is still fully intact with the real world but gives a feeling of disconnect. I feel that this Facebook, in itself, is exactly what Michel Foucault describe when he came up with the idea of heterotopia, a society within a society. These two societies that feel so different from each other but actually connects us in deeper ways than possible. They work somewhat hand in hand. The heterotopia of Facebook is a real escape for many people to be who they want to be and who they want to be perceived to be. This world gives a source for free expression and a true feeling of being escaped from the real world.

  18. The film The Social Network reveals how Facebook was created and what lead to it becoming a sensation. The film’s trailer offers an insight into how much Facebook impacted the users’ lives. In the trailer you are introduced to pictures Facebook users posted from the most enjoyable and important times in their lives. The film displays many of Foucault’s Heterotopia concepts and ideas. According to Foucault a Heterotopia is a “sort of place that lies outside of all places and yet is actually localizable” (Of Other Spaces’ 1967). The Social Network brings this concept to light because it shows how often Facebook was used and also how addictive it was. Although Facebook was not an actual social place that a person could attend or visit in person everyone still had access to it. It was another world that lived in our physical one via the internet. Just like Heterotopias, Facebook can also be connected with specific moments in time. Through Facebook the students were able to capture moments throughout their college career and they could upload photos and videos of these moments to Facebook.

    In the film Mark Zuckerberg was portrayed as a socially awkward computer genius but behind the computer screen in the world of the internet he was cool. He was the student that crashed Harvard’s servers in a couple of hours while he was drunk and the guy that created Face Mash and Facebook, this in turn made him a legend around campus. In reality Zuckerberg was a man that said whatever came to his mind and did whatever it took to get what he wanted no matter the cost. Zuckerberg’s desire to get Facebook up and running to new Universities caused him to have tunnel vision which led to him losing his only friend, Eduardo Saverin, because he was manipulated by Sean Parker, an entrepreneur who did not contribute anything to Facebook in its beginning stages. His behavior and unrelenting desire to succeed also caused him to get sued by the Winklevoss brothers due to him lying that he would help program their Harvard Connect site, which was supposed to be exclusively for Harvard students. Zuckerberg reformed their idea and ran with while in the process blowing them off for months. Even when the Winklevoss’s took legal action and obtained a Cease & Desist Letter for the website Zuckerberg brushed it off. Zuckerberg’s actions online portrayed him differently than how he acted offline in the movie. Just like many users on Facebook their lives and personality are not always what it seems.

    Zuckerberg’s inadequate social skills also led to his girlfriend Erica Albright to end their relationship. Zuckerberg made Albright feel as though she was inferior to him by insinuating she did not have to study because of what university she attended. He also expressed to her that she needed to be more supportive of him getting accepted into Final Clubs because he would take her to events and gatherings to meet people she “wouldn’t normally get to meet.” Erica Albright was supportive of Zuckerberg in the opening scene of the film. She encouraged him to not be so obsessed with clubs and “concentrate on being the best you can be.” Just from the opening scene in the film Albright seemed like a good girlfriend but on the internet Zuckerberg’s unkind words portrayed her to be something else entirely. The fact that Albright did not lash out and retaliate badly to Zuckerberg’s unkind words on her personality and body is a testament to her character that contradicts her reflection through the internet.

    Through the contradicting reflections of their characters on the internet versus their characters in reality it is evident how individuals in society wish to represent themselves. Everyone wants to be noticed and fit in some place. Zuckerberg wanted to do something substantial to get the attention of clubs. It is that need to get noticed that inspired Zuckerberg down the path to create Facebook. Facebook users are able to recreate themselves however they want to be, that is how Facebook became so popular within society. Being able to recreate ourselves and modify our reflections through the mirror of the Internet until we reach society’s idea of perfection or acceptance suggests that we are often not honest with everyone and even ourselves. It is through these illusions that we are able to create that makes Facebook and Heterotopias one and the same.

  19. In the movie “The Social Network” Mark Zuckerberg created a website for college students to connect on a personal level vs. just an academic level. In 2003 Facebook came to life and has changed social media indefinitely. We have profiles that we control that help us express our identities and interest. It is a place where we can hide all of our insecurities and portray ourselves however we would like. Ultimately our profiles are a reflection of ourselves or the persona we wish to be, for this reason Robin Rymarczuk refers to Facebook as a heterotopia. In “The Heterotopia of Facebook” Rymarczuk tells us about Philosopher Michel Foucault’s theory on heterotopia. Foucault called a heterotopia “another place”. He says, “A mirror is a place-less place. In the mirror I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface.” Rymarczuk explains that “Facebook created a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned.”

    In the movie, Mark Zuckerberg was an extremely awkward computer genius, a bit outspoken with just one friend. He was determined to join a popular club to fit in and be successful. After Facebook, Mark was thought of as being much “cooler” and seemed to be noticed by others. Erica Albright was Mark’s girlfriend until he insulted her intelligence by bragging about his 1600 SAT scores and expressing his hatred for the less educated Boston University students. He tried to make himself superior which lead to their breakup. After Albright broke up with Zuckerberg he then tried to tarnish her image by blogging hateful lies about her. He called her a bitch, while cracking jokes about her bra size, and wanted to compare her and other woman to farm animals.

    In Facebook’s heterotopia we are able to record our everyday events through pictures and posts. We share the good, the bad and the ugly. Facebook has become a public journal, a social scrapbook. If you don’t like the way your life is going you can adjust your life to appear more desirable. With Facebook you don’t have to miss out on certain occasions. You can video message or flip through pictures and posts to catch up on what you’ve missed. We choose who we are friends with and how we would like to associate with them. We can catch up by just scrolling their profile instead of meeting up in person or picking up the phone. In this illusionary world inside of our real world we can share who we want to be, where we want to be, and with whom we want to be with. We are creating a performance. Since others are consuming our everyday activity we tend to elaborate or boast about our true selves. We now have our own audience to entertain.
    In “The Social Network” we saw twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss approach Mark to help them create a website. They wanted the “Harvard Society” to be a campus based community for students to interact with each other at Harvard alone. Mr. Zuckerberg took their idea and ran with it. He created a website that eventually anyone could join from any walk of life. What intended on being a college web group turned into a global phenomenon where you could be anything you wanted to be and no longer had to be a student.

    Us as humans, we are so desperate to fit in, that we are willing to exaggerate our lives to the world on Facebook in order to get a few “likes” or positive comments. Robin Rymarczuk says, “Facebook is a world in the world that provides an illusion which paradoxically exposes the real world as ‘illusory’.” Even though we claim that our lives are all glitz and glamour on Facebook, initially, it’s only an illusion. Therefore, as Foucault would say “In the mirror I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space.” And in this mirror, we force the world to see us exactly how we want to be seen. The victim, the rock star, the Christian; this illusion becomes indeed real, however false it may be.

  20. It’s painstakingly clear to see how much Facebook as evolved and grown since the time period that was covered in the Social Network. What started out as a site exclusively for Harvard students has now grown into something people all over the world, from all different walks of life can use. The movie introduces us to the early days of Facebook – or shall I say the Facebook. Zuckerburg is portrayed as your stereotypical, emotionally detached, computer geek obsessed with coding and completely detached from his relationship with his girlfriend Erica Albright. Mark is dumped by Erica while out one night and returns to his dorm posting an entry on his Liveblog stating that “Erica Albright is a bitch” which is the first rumble of what would set in motion the beginning of an empire.

    The trailer of the film depicts the essentials of what we’ve become accustom to using Facebook for. The simplicity of writing a mindless post about how our day is going, posting pictures from the rave we went to the night before, or cryptically putting silly little “” or “” to represent something that’s currently happening in our personal lives that we’d rather not delve deeper into. Foucault’s concept of heterotopia is made evident in the film by the fact that everyone can be portrayed so differently on social media than they actually are in person. This could date back to 2003 with Zuckerburg’s Liveblog post, where he insults Erica. Hadn’t it been for the availability to express his feelings in such a quick and simple way, would he ever have? Would he have insulted Erica to her face? Or if not for Liveblog and the night Erica dumped Mark how evolved would social media be today?

    If we are to understand that a heterotopia is a real place wherein society that is both represented and distorted, and can be done so in a way that illuminates particular cultural ideologies such as race, gender, politics, religion or the self, one could argue that a perfect example of this concept is portrayed from the very beginning of the film. In one of the very early scenes when Mark makes such an insult about Erica over Liveblog can’t we say this could cause a skewed view of her from people who’ve never actually interacted with her? By now reading a simple entry posted by someone else they do know one now has a complete, unfair, perceived notion about someone they don’t even know – which bring us to how we can view, represent, and create ourselves whilst also viewing, judging, and analyzing someone else.

    The Social Network suggests that when it comes to our identities and our relationships with each other, we all want acceptance – or at least to appear as normal as possible. We all want that space where can be our 100% authentic self without fear of judgment. So we take selfies, so we post cute emojis, or thought provoking, conversation starting post to convey that sense of normalcy or depiction of the type of person we want people to think we are. And Facebook is the heterotic space that allows just that. That ability to meet people who share the same interests as you or that safe haven to express yourself in ways you can’t or may be afraid to in the real world. In a way Facebook allows us to hide, be someone completely different, or someone we’ve always been and never allowed the real world to see. In today’s society how authentic are any of us, really?

  21. Facebook as we know it is a place where people feel comfortable enough, to share some of their personal moments and thoughts, with people they hardly even know. In the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg’s character shows us why Facebook is seen as a heterotopic space. Which is a place that is real, but is also an illusion.
    In the movie, Mark Zuckerberg comes off as arrogant, superior, self-absorbed, rude, and computer savvy. He hides behind his blog site, by writing harsh words towards his former girlfriend Erica Albright, once she broke up with him. The internet made Zuckerberg feel powerful and in control. He said things that he wouldn’t have normally said to Erica in person. Erica Albright’s character showed herself to be unconcerned about getting noticed, and she didn’t feel the need to hide behind a computer to express how she felt. Zuckerberg created his own identity online, in which he said really rude and sexist things about women, when in reality he wouldn’t have said those things out loud to any of the women. It’s something about being able to isolate yourself in your room, log on to Facebook and start typing, with the feeling of you have the power to do whatever you want.
    In The Heterotopia of Facebook, Robin Rymarczuk states in reference to Facebook being an “exhibit of many paradoxes”, “It isolates at the same time, as it confines them to a screen”. Facebook users lock themselves in on what’s going on in the social media world, to where some isolate themselves from things that are happening around them in their everyday life. As seen in The Social Network, Harvard’s society and today’s society, being popular looks to be the main focus of both societies. In the world of Facebook, being popular is just an illusion.
    The identities people portray on Facebook can all be a facade, according to how they live their lives outside of Facebook. Facebook allow us to post whatever we want, as long as it’s within the guidelines of Facebook. People can create fake profiles, by stealing pictures, and then pretending to be that person. We can build relationships with people all over the world, with just a friend request, but Facebook’s way of communicating has only disabled us from going out and meeting people face to face. It’s important that we don’t take Facebook or any other social media site too serious, and we forget that there is a world outside of Facebook, and that world is our reality.

  22. The Social Network

    The Social Network is a movie based upon the birth of a heterotopic website. In the movie, Mark Zuckerberg was portrayed to be an egocentric genius whose main goal as a Harvard student was to be known for his site, Facebook. I need to do something substantial in order to get the attention of the clubs… because they are exclusive and fun and leads to a better life”. This statement made by Zuckerberg in the trailer for the film outlines his motive in creating the site.
    The idea was originally conceived so that college students could rate each other’s photo based on whether they found that person to be attractive or not. This concept grew into a much larger network where students from Harvard and other prestigious colleges could connect which would make their college experience that much more exciting. The idea of exclusiveness drew in a larger crowd. The Facebook, as it was originally called, eventually became open to the public. Today, anyone and everyone can have a Facebook profile but the reason behind people engaging in the network is far more than just simply communicating.
    Facebook has transformed the world of communication into a virtual society. Online chatting, commenting or simply ‘liking’ someone’s post or status are all reasons why Facebook can be defined as a heterotopic place. A heterotopia is an ‘other space’ or an illusion of the exposed physical space which is perceived as better or exaggerated. By this definition, Facebook is the ultimate heterotopic place. This social network is an outlet where people from all walks of life can get together and share ideas, moments in time and videos of all sorts. The site can be used as a forum to voice opinions, theories and political interests.
    Most users of the site utilize the timeline as a highlight reel where photos and videos that occur in everyday life are stored. However, Facebook can also be used as a vice of attention seekers. This would reconfirm Foucault’s definition of heterotopia in that the other space is an exaggerated or better version of its reality.
    Robin Rymarczuk describes Facebook to be “The Virtual in Reality” in his article, “The Heterotopia of Facebook”. Rymarczuk reiterates Foucault’s idea that Facebook, like a mirror, “is a placeless place”. “In the mirror, I see myself there where I’m not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface.” Facebook is just that, an unreal virtual space. The irony is that Facebook has become more than just an online world. Users log on daily to check ‘likes’ or notifications. Many users engage in real life experience just to have something to share on social media whether that be a ‘check-in’ or a photo at a party for example. The culture in this age has formed a world within our real world, a heterotopia, which has been so widely accepted that there are fewer people not engaged in social media than those who are. Technology has replaced real life with a virtual life that has been so greatly exaggerated that it has become the norm to have lived only to share those experiences. As best communicated by Michel Foucault, Facebook is “absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it.” Zuckerberg’s initial goal to get the attention of the clubs was surpassed by gaining the attention of, not only the clubs, but of the world by ultimately creating a heterotopia within it.

  23. Our “social network” consists of pleasing not only ourselves but those who we interact with on different forms of social media; including the most widely known website called Facebook. Facebook in its self is a brilliant form of social media, not only can you talk to a vast amount of people around the globe but you can also show them a glimpse into your everyday life through a screen, whether it be the computer, tablet, phone, and even a TV. Posting pictures, making status updates, making “events”, instant messaging, video calling, making business pages, etc., the list can go on and on.

    Facebook “fully represents the real world, although it is elsewhere” (Rymarczuk, 2015) in way that people can talk to others in any location they please – with, of course, access to the internet, making it easy for anyone who is dull, socially awkward, or even an introvert become someone who is seen on the screen as someone who’s life is as glamorous as they would like to portray. In Robin Rymarczuk’s “The Heterotopia of Facebook” he states, “By submitting the user to a process of self-exposure to others, Facebook renders virtual social life a stage act – a performance. This is why the Facebook self is so often criticized for being highly performative.” For example, Mark Zuckerburg’s character in The Social Network is a very smart and yet socially awkward individual. At the beginning of The Social Network Mark Zuckerburg’s character is shown at a bar with his then girlfriend (Erica Albright) having a conversation about him wanting so much to be in a club at school, especially “The Phoenix”. Erica then goes on to say that he should just be himself instead of trying so hard to fit in which Mark responds with saying something mean about Erica causing her to break up with him. As the movie goes on we see that Mark is very computer savvy, so much that he’s able to make up his coding for what is now called Facebook. With Facebook growing and becoming so much more than anyone ever thought it would Mark Zuckerburg became the face of over billions of friendships when sadly he didn’t have any friends at all, which is why Facebook can twist what we perceive as the reality of what the user chooses to show online.

    In the trailer of The Social Network, while showing posts of pictures and status updates no matter the mood of the user, the song titled “Creep” originally written by Radiohead played softly in the background. Throughout the trailer clips of The Social Network revealed to its future viewers that this movie was a portrayal of Mark Zuckerburg (CEO and founder of Facebook) wanting so desperately to be noticed and accepted. “I don’t care if it hurts, I want to have control, I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul, I want you to notice when I’m not around, you’re so very special, I wish I were special…” – “Creep” by Radiohead. Mark Zuckerburg succeeds in being noticed from events in which led to his invention of Facebook, but unfortunately not all of the people who noticed him were his friends, throughout The Social Network Mark Zuckerburg makes many enemies not only with the men he stole the “idea” of Facebook from, but also his now ex-girlfriend (Erica Albright) and his ex-best friend (Eduardo Saverin). With that Mark Zuckerburg did, in fact, succeed in creating a website that allowed others to “friend” each other as well as keeping in contact and also had many “friends” on Facebook, but he was still alone in the sense that he didn’t have any true friends that liked him for who he truly was.

    These lyrics depict what Foucault had said in Of Other Spaces, “The mirror is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I’m not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; real, connected with all the space that surrounds it” (Rymarczuk, 2015). Facebook is, in a sense, similar to a mirror, but much more complicated than just a reflection of one’s self. Instead, it is a reflection of who that person is and how they portray themselves to anyone who they deem worthy of their friends list.

  24. Facebook was created in 2004 by a Harvard student, Mark Zuckerburg. Zuckerburg was a very intelligent student and was amazingly smart when it came to computers. When he started Facebook he knew it would be a huge hit. In the movie The Social Network it explains every detail about how Facebook was created and everything Zuckerburg went though to get it to be where it is today. The movie also illustrates better why Michael Foucault refers to Facbook as being heterotopic. It becomes very clear that Facebook and heterotopia are very common with the principles of being isolated/private and expressing feelings.

    Facebook was started when Zuckerburg was very upset about a breakup that happen hours prior, therefore he was upset and took his feelings to the internet and started blogging. That’s when an idea came to him that he was going to start a link called FaceMash. On FaceMash people would compare two females to one another. This website became so popular in just a few hours that it crashed the school’s internet. That’s when he wanted to start an internet website similar to the website Harvard had for the students. Two students, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss also gave him more ideas about a social media website. Zukerburg started thinking of ideas with the help of Eduardo. Zukerburg was the brains and Eduardo was the one with the money to help the website grow.

    Facebook was created so people could interact with one another as well as show peoples interest in things. Facebook allows people to create their own profile. People can put anything that they want on their profiles, such as pictures, things they like, and a bio about themselves. It also gives people an opportunity to meet people. In the movie Zuckerburgs shows these things being done by demonstrating the Facebook pages. This is how Michael Foucault’s principles of heterotopic ideas come into play. For example, isolation and expressing feelings. These two thing are done on Facbook. People express themselves in numerous ways on their profiles. They also have an option of making their profiles private where only their friends can see their information.

    Zuckerburg had a fantastic idea that he knew would become something huge. He succeeded at his idea, he wanted people to interact with one another. Although he went through a lot to get Facebook where it is today I’m sure Zuckerburg wouldn’t change it. He had plenty of lesson learns while making Facebook so popular. Since Facebook begun it has rapidly grew and is still continuing!

  25. The Social Network movie was released in the U.S October 1st, 2010 and has had much critique and praise. The Social Network tells the story of how Facebook came about and the legal aspects in creating a website which is now such a big part of social media and our everyday lives. It starts with Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Erica Albright having a conversation that leads to her breaking up with him. Zuckerberg then goes to his dorm room and writes a blog post painting Albright in an unflattering light for all to see. He also created a website containing pictures of women on campus by hacking into the university database and having users rate the “hotness” of the women. In doing this, the website he created crashed Harvard’s network with the amount of traffic it received. The mass traffic of the website caught the eyes of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss Harvard upperclassmen who approached Zuckerberg with an idea called Harvard Connection. Zuckerberg decided to join them in the creation of this but instead came up with an idea of his own while showing no production on the Harvard Connection. Zuckerberg went to his friend Eduardo Saverin with the idea of The Facebook, Saverin gave Zuckerberg $1,000 to help him start. When the Winklevoss brothers learn of The Facebook created by Zuckerberg they believe he stole their idea and decide to sue him because of it. Throughout the movie, The Facebook became Facebook and its popularity grew giving Zuckerberg the idea of expanding to other universities. Facebook gained investors, popularity, and a lot of drama along the way. By the end Mark Zuckerberg agreed to a settlement, awarding the Winklevoss brothers 65 million dollars as well as Eduardo Saverin receiving an undisclosed amount. At the end of the movie it states that Facebook has 500 million members in 207 countries and is valued at 25 billion dollars, making Mark Zuckerberg the youngest billionaire in the world. This was the beginning of so many changes, the way we interact, the way we present ourselves, and the way we live.
    In our world today Facebook has become our social connection, and a lot of times our main interaction with the outside world and people. I can remember when I was a kid and we had gotten a computer, it was amazing and oh so complex to my young mind. I remember thinking how amazing it was that I could talk to anyone anywhere in the world. Growing up before that consisted of playing outside, actually going to a friend’s house to speak with them, and living care free because there were not as many dangers as there are today with all of our technology. Facebook has become a socially acceptable form of communication to many generations. We live, learn, and rely on Facebook for everything. Our Facebook profiles tell people who we are, what we like, our relationship status, and our views on almost everything. Some people use Facebook as a way to be better than they think they actually are, they present a perfect life and great persona and in reality they would never say or do some of the things that they post on Facebook. I’ve never really thought of the internet or Facebook in the way that Michel Foucault explains it until reading Robin Rymarczuk’s “The Heterotopia of Facebook”. Foucault’s concept using the “mirror metaphor” is genius! He states “The mirror is a placeless place” “In the mirror, I see myself . . . where I’m not . . . an unreal, virtual space . . . opens up behind the surface”. That is Facebook exactly, we portray ourselves in the best normalcy that we can. Although we are not physically there we post and show as if we were.
    In “The Social Network”, Zuckerberg’s character represented Foucault’s mirror metaphor perfectly when he blogged about his once girlfriend Erica Albright. He used the blog space as a way to portray his current situations in life. This cyber space he was in was him mentally and picturesquely but he was still him in the real world. The blog posts and Facebook is a mirror into his life for everyone to see. The Social Network portrays the heterotopia of Facebook very well, Zuckerberg was able to post to the blog speaking poorly of Erica Albright in this “space” that he is in but hides behind. It shows how Facebook portrays people where you can see and speak to them but are not actually there. Facebook became a way to know a person and their interests without putting in the face time and work that is required to actually know a person. This is changing so much in our world, potential employers look at a Facebook, people check if friends are ok on Facebook, and people post things to Facebook before ever physically telling anyone anything. While we have this “other space” that is becoming more and more accepted as a form of being social, we are losing the greatness of our actual real world where hugs and interaction mean so much more. Think about it, how many people on your friends list do you actually talk face to face with? Do you speak with these people more on Facebook than you do in real life? I have almost 300 friends on Facebook but only physically talk to or see in person a handful of them. This heterotopia that is Facebook has taken away the normal interactions we have used for many years.

  26. Facebook, which is a social networking service, was launched in February 2004. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, his college roommates and a few fellow Harvard students in a Harvard dormitory room. Facebook was created for college students to connect and share things such as pictures, videos, and messages. In the “The Social Network” film not only does it show us how Facebook was created but it also shows us how Facebook became a huge sensation that continues to grow today. The film shows us just how much Facebook changed people’s lives. It also shows us more examples of how Facebook is a heterotopia like Foucault explains.
    “The Social Network” is a film that was released in 2010 and it is based on the story of how Mark Zuckerberg created the social network while studying at Harvard. The movie portrays Zuckerberg as a socially awkward, insecure, devious and ego maniac. In the movie, Mark is not a very nice person. It starts with him being dumped by his girlfriend because it was his fault. He then goes on a journey where he displays arrogance, content, and lashing of social envy. The film also shows how Facebook changed people’s lives. Facebook changed how we keep in touch, the way we share our lives, the way people are bullied, and the way businesses interact with customers.
    Identity is the way we see ourselves and in turn, the way different groups in society see us. Facebook allows audiences the luxury of digital social interaction as well as the ability to produce and distribute media from person to person. Facebook is in many ways heterotopic. It generates a state of confusion between the reality world and virtual world. For example, when you look at yourself and all the place you occupy at that moment, everything seems absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it. But it could also be absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to be passed through a virtual point. Facebook is a world within the world that attracts or repels people by its social life. Not only does time seem to fly when we are using Facebook, and other online sites, but Facebook’s timeline brings us back to past life, present life and afterlife. Facebook keeps the past present but in a way, it is much more direct because it accessible in the same space where present happens.

  27. In the movie, “The Social Network,” Mark Zuckerberg is a good night incredibly sophisticated sophomore student attending a college named Harvard University. In the film, Mark partners up with one of his two roommates named Eduardo Severin. The two of them eventually create something similar to Foucaults theory of a “heteropic space.” This sort of space is now called, “Facebook,” which is also known as “The Social Network.” Although the site was initially created for Harvard students only, it has now spreaded across the world for anyone’s personal use.

    In the beginning of the film, Mark and his girlfriend named Erica Albright whom is also very intelligent, end their relationship based on their differences. Soon after, Mark creates a site called “Hot or Not” so that Harvard students can anonymously rate their fellow class mates. The site spread so quickly that it caught the attention of the Winklevoss brothers. They gave Mark an opportunity to work with them, but Mark and Eduardo had other ideas in mind. Mark spent restless nights working on the site he had in mind. Little did Zuckerberg and Eduardo had known, this was only the beginning of their “billion dollar idea.” In other words, this is how “Facebook” originated.

    In the early years of “Facebook,” it was called “The Facebook.” After Mark met a man named Sean Parker in California, “Facebook” started to expand across the world and is still growing larger every day. The fact that we can use our “Facebook” pages to look back on our past relates to Foucaults theory of “heterotopias”. With being said, our page like our own personal museum. It offers the time and date of all your memories from as far back as you created your page. Another few features that Facebook offers on our pages are bios, interests, movies, and books, which can relate to examples of a heteropia. That information is like looking into a mirror, we see ourselves and it reflects who we are.

    With a little help from fellow partners and in time, “Facebook” has sky rocketed across the globe, leaving billions of users using it as one of their primary Internet social site. Although “Facebook” is mainly used to connect with others, some users use the site to represent themselves as someone they are not. Some are seeking attention and some are just using false information because they choose to be private. But whatever the reason is, “Facebook” allows us to recreate ourselves into who and what we want others to see us as. What started off as “The Facebook,” is now “Facebook,” and as Michael Foucault would say, it has become a “world in it’s own world.”

  28. Works Cited:

    Foucault, Michael. “Of Other Spaces:Utopias and Heterotopias.” (n.d.): n. pag. Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité. Jay Miskowiec, Mar. 1967. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

    The Social Newtork. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Mark Zuckerberg. 2010. Film.

  29. In the movie “The Social Network” Mark Zuckerberg was approached with an idea while at Harvard. The idea was to create the “Harvard Society,” where students on campus could communicate with one another. He took that idea and ran with it creating something more. In 2003 Facebook was created changing the way social media is looked at. It is a place where we are free to hide our insecurities and leave out our imperfections. We are able to describe ourselves how we would like to be seen by other people.

    In the movie, Mark Zuckerberg was not the coolest kid. He was very awkward only having one friend. However he was determined to find a way to fit in and be successful. After he launched Facebook, a lot of other people started talking about Mark more and noticing him. However in doing so, he lost his true friend Eduardo Saverin. During his time at the University Mark started dating Erica Albright. Due to Mark’s way of belittling those who he felt were less intelligent than himself, it eventually led to their breakup. After Erica Albright broke up with Mark Zuckerberg took to the internet to try and further belittle her. From calling her derogatory names, to even making jokes about her measurements.

    Mark Zuckerberg was the one to launch Facebook, but it all started from an idea. in “The Social Network,” we saw twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss approach Mark with a idea for a website. They wanted to try and create a social network for Harvard, so everyone on campus could interact with each other. Instead Mark took their idea and furthered it. He created a website where anyone could join no matter where they are located. Now anyone had the power to make themselves out to be anything they wanted. In person Mark Zuckerberg was an awkward person, but over the internet he was able to be whoever he wanted to be.

    “The mirror is a placeless place,” Foucault says. “In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface.” Michel Foucault uses a mirror to help explain what a heterotopia is. Later Robin Rymarczuk refers to Facebook as a heterotopia. Stating that “Facebook created a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned.” In Facebook’s heterotopia we are able to share our everyday lives through words and pictures. Facebook lets us choose who we stay connected with by providing us with an option for friends. What use to be a phone call to catch up has turned into scrolling through their profile. If we do not like a part of our lives, we are able to alter it online and make our lives seem more desirable. In this illusionary world within our world we can tell everyone about us, we can show them all of our desirable traits and leave out the less desirable traits.

    If you were to create a Facebook profile, or a profile on any social media odds are that you would write about all of the qualities that you like about yourself, and leave out the not so desirable qualities. Through Facebook’s continued popularity this trend is increasingly easy to see. Even Mark Zuckerberg took advantage of it, changing who he really was over the internet to make himself seem not so awkward. It is our culture’s current ideology that we try and view ourselves to be better than what we really are. Facebook gives us the illusion that we can change the less desirable traits about ourselves.

  30. A break up leads to the most popular heterotopic space in the virtual world. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. The movie, The Social Network, tells the story of how Zuckerberg, a computer genius that is socially awkward, created Facebook when he was a student at Harvard. The movie trailer starts off by showing you the uses of Facebook through users’ profiles then goes on to explain the reason for creating it and its uses. His reason was to do something significant that would get the attention of a Final Club. So he came up with Facebook, a site where friends can go and post status updates, pictures, and profiles. The idea came to him after he was supposed to help the Winklevoss twins start a website similar to Facebook. The film shows many of the principles that make it a heterotopia. It was created to be exclusive to Harvard, then to Ivy League students until where it is today. It’s not as exclusive as when it first started but you still need to register an account to be able to use the site. This is just one example of how Facebook fits the concept of Foucault’s fifth principle of heterotopia.
    The first scene in the film is Zuckerberg and his girlfriend, Erica Albright, hanging out in a bar. They are having a conversation about school and Final Clubs, but the conversation turns ugly really quickly. He tells her that she doesn’t really need to study because she goes to BU, Boston University. He also tells her that he will take her to the social gatherings, so she can meet people she wouldn’t normally meet. She breaks up with him because Zuckerberg makes her feel like she is below him in terms of intelligence. He gets angry and writes on his blog many cruel things about her that are not true but people that read it will believe. He writes about her breast size being helped out by Victoria Secret. She does not retaliate against him for this, which shows her true character. It’s a perfect example of Internet versus reality. Even after their break up, you see that Albright has a profile on Facebook and that Zuckerberg sends her a friend request. A part of our human nature is to be social. As life becomes more reliant on technology, it’s important for a heterotopic place like Facebook to exist to keep people connected socially
    Rymarczuk states, “By submitting the user to a process of self-exposure to others, Facebook renders virtual social life a staged act – a performance.” People create profiles that show them in a different light at times a complete opposite of who they truly are as a person. This is true and shown in the movie with Zuckerberg. After about 200,000 registered users, the CFO, Eduardo Saverin, wanted to put ads on the site to generate revenue. Zuckerberg did not want to put any because he wanted to appear cool and edgy to his users. In reality he was not a cool and edgy guy. You can post what you want in terms of content, so people tend to post what is socially acceptable and currently popular. The current cultures’ views are all about looks, popularity, and who has a better life. That’s why as much as we put our lives on Facebook; it’s never our true normal life. Not only does Facebook take us out of the normal world into a virtual world, but it also has us reflect on our own identities compared to others we see on Facebook.

  31. Amari Cousin
    Monica Mankin
    English 102
    19th Feb. 2016
    The Social Network Blog Post
    Facebook is a social media site that allows one to stay connected with family and friends. It was originally created for college students to communicate with one another. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 while he was attending Harvard University. Today, Facebook is one of the largest social networks with more than 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook is so popular that a movie called “The Social Network” was created. “ The Social Network” tells the audience how Facebook was created and all the problems Zuckerberg went through for his website to become one of the biggest websites in the world.
    A heterotopia is a concept in human geography elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. Facebook can be consider a heterotopia by many characteristics it possesses. Three of Foucault’s principles Facebook have are the principles of time, principle of illusion which creates a space of illusion that exposes every real space, and the principle that a single real place that Juxtaposes several spaces. Zuckerberg and Facebook both represent these principles, which are also shown in the movie.
    In the movie “The Social Network” Zuckerberg was a socially awkward yet extremely intelligent student. Although Zuckerberg was socially awkward he was very egotistical which ultimately led to his break up with his girlfriend. Foucault explains that “ Facebook created a space of illusions that exposes every real space all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned. “After he created Facebook and gained popularity, he began to feel superior to those around him. This is where locks principle of illusion comes into play. Zuckerberg was given the illusion that he was greater than others and too intelligent to be with his girlfriend by the users of his website. On Facebook people can portray something that they are not to others that may not really know but follow them on the site.
    Foucault’s principle of time is a great example of why Facebook can be considered a heterotopia. On Facebook there is a timeline you post photos and statuses that can be kept and seen over and over again throughout time. Facebook even reminds you of pictures that were posted years ago. These things can be persevered even if the user’s computer happens to crash, Facebook will still have the picture or status you had. The timeline feature of Facebook allows us to see development over time.
    Facebook is a heterotopia that juxtaposes or combines several different spaces to create another space. People combine their personal space with a social space on the newsfeed. When people write a status about a personal situation, that is when the two spaces are combined and on display for others to see and criticize. Facebook carries 4 out of 6 of Foucault’s principles. Ryumarezuk said “ Facebook is a world within the world that attracts or repels people by its geography as much as by its social life.” Without Mark Zuckerberg and the help of his friends who knows how we would share and connect today.

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