Posted by jimmy11lentz
“Hey Jimmy, friend me on Facebook!”
This was a revolutionary phrase to a freshly minted college freshman sitting at his desk in his dorm room in the fall of 2004 as a girl with a familiar smile energetically stepped into his door frame. In the fall of 2004, the question was what was ‘the facebook?’ As the major motion picture, “The Social Network” showed us, Mark Zuckerberg, through a series of consequential events, concocted the idea for a new kind of social network with the help of his friends and roommates. Facebook was beyond the parameters of the already existent MySpace and Friendster and, as a result, sparked an online craze that has yet to yield in a society based in minutes and seconds.
The italicized words new kind are paramount to predicting the next “big thing” in communicating and interacting with each other in modern society. Nobody will reinvent the human capability of talking, writing or typing, but instead could reveal a before unknown adaptation of the way we interact with each other, potentially on a grand scale.
What will it be? Think not of originality in its purest sense, but rather of variance. How will you kick, throw or spin a ball in a way that hasn’t already been done? The greatest soccer players don’t invent absolute alternatives to kicking a ball, but instead figure out a better way to kick a ball with their foot by making a superior touch or spin with a certain motion with their leg and foot. If they prove on enough occasions their new technique is beneficial and leads to personal and team success, and, let’s face it, if it looks “cool,” then they have successfully redefined the game while playing within the same rules as everybody else. They have elevated not only their style, but themselves in a sport with countless players. Their jerseys will be sold in soccer shops all over the world and fans will know and cheer their name. World-class indeed!
One scene in “The Social Network” showed Zuckerberg’s inquisitive mind at work when sending out a link to Facemash, which was a website he created in the aftermath of an angry break-up one night. His best friend Eduardo asks, “Who are you gonna send it to?” Zuckerberg responds by saying, “Just a couple of people. The question is, who are they gonna send it to?”
The answer? In the movie, 22,000 people clicked on the link within a two-hour window. Nearly a quarter of a hundred thousand curious Harvard minds clicked on a link late one random evening and brought Super Bowl halftime show-caliber activity to a brand new website. In fact, it crashed the Harvard network.
In today’s world, with the unprecedented speed of communication literally at the control of our fingertips and smart devices, the next “big thing” or person can arise from an abyss to celebrity status after a day or a week…or even just in a two-hour window on a college campus, for better or worse as the movie portrayed with the mere posting of the website. Want more proof? Does the name Psy mean anything to you? Guess it was a good idea for the South Korean rapper to post his wildly outrageous, and addictive, music video on YouTube.
There are countless ideas swirling around the sky of big thinkers everyday in this country and around the world. It’s not a matter of just being seen by a large group of people anymore, but creating a type of metaphorical spotlight on yourself like one found on a Broadway stage that generates genuine interest from an audience wanting to know more. Nora Ephron’s, “Lucky Guy,” is a Broadway play with Tom Hanks featured as the lead actor. Whether he is on a stage, in a movie or doing a late-night interview, he gins up intrigue because of his affable, charming personality. He instills trust in his fans, from performance to performance. It’s a rare and admirable quality.
“Nice guys finish last.” At least Tom Hanks has opened that door slightly to the contrary within the realm of popular culture. The question is who will star next in this against all odds story of hope and goodness? Who knows? But in this society of constant negativity, he or she just may become the next big thing…