I watched The Social Network tonight. Of course it was interesting and full of things to point at and say “remember when it was like that?” and it had plenty of nerd moments, and also it had Justin Timberlake…but what can we truly learn from this movie/ real life experience?
Facebook is the top place for “sharing” online. How many times a day do you think you see the word “share” on the internet each day? Every article, every picture, every single thing you look at online – you can “share” it. This blog post will have “share” buttons on it.
Sometimes I get frustrated when something doesn’t have a “share” button on it.
So it may seem kind of odd- but unbelievably true – that within the movie about the place where we “share” the most, we are shown that you should, in fact, not do so.
This story proves that you should not share your ideas until you are executing them yourself.* This is something I have long believed to be true. Especially coming from a background where the very structure of my college education hinged on “critiques” which almost inevitably included giving other people ideas… I feel very strongly that one’s own ideas are so incredibly valuable, they should be protected just like money – because that’s essentially what they are.
Ideas equal money, and you don’t go around giving out money, do you?
By “doing” whatever it is you have an idea about – you are sharing it, and that’s the only way you should do so – the first way you should share an idea – is by showing that you are beginning to do it – that it belongs to you. Don’t you think?
This is not to say that you should sit in a dark room alone all day and never bother to lend someone a suggestion or a helping hand – in fact, you should do that! Interacting with other people, helping them through their hiccups, bouncing ideas around, and brainstorming with others can prove to be extremely useful for all involved. Sometimes the best ideas come to us while working with or helping others. Additionally, if you’ve learned something and have an experience to share – by all means, please do. Acquired knowledge is different from an idea. Knowledge, experience, expertise, and the like should be shared.
But if you have an idea about something that you think could really be a stand out, something really special that will set you apart, or that will bring you closer to your personal goal- a design, an invention, a theory, a product, a style – something that could land you on the cover of Time magazine – it’s okay to be a little selfish and keep it for yourself.
Was that capitalist enough for you? Or do you feel the same?
*I’m using the structure and the story told within the movie as anecdotes, if that story is not the entire truth, don’t sue me over it – I don’t claim to know the true, full story of Facebook and it’s creators. Additionally, as always this is my own opinion and it’s okay if you don’t agree.