August 26, 2011

Social Network

I just saw The Social Network. And before I say anything else, I want to say that it was a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed watching every drama-filled moment of it.

With that said, the movie made me feel so insignificant. Which, I guess, I am in the grand scope of things. With what, billions of people living on this Earth now, how different can I be? Statistically speaking, how different is my genetic code and makeup that makes me so special from the average Joe sitting next to me?

I don't know the answer to that question and, quite frankly, I am very confused right now. So I decided to blog to collect my thoughts, as that usually helps.

Let's start with a few numbers.

A quick Google search yields that the total Earth population is something around 6.7 billion people. That's a shit ton of people. How many of those people are similar to me? The U.S. is apparently around 312 million. New York City? Around 8.3 million. You can narrow it down even further if you'd like. Asian. Korean. Male. Around 6 feet tall. Goes to college. Likes videos games. Soon enough, it's going to only be me.

But what does that really mean? Does it matter that I can eventually narrow the world's population down using my descriptions as filters? I wonder what the shortest amount of filters necessary is to single me out from the 6.7 billion people in the world. Around 50 filters? 100? I don't know, I'm no statistician. (And no, don't use bullshit filters that are super long and obscure so you can lower your number. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if you shared that description with at least one other person in this world.)

Does that number have any significance? People who hold world records or are in history books can brag that their number is one. The world's tallest man. The world's first Korean-American. The person who invented Facebook. What these people all have in common is that their filter-number is just one. How many of these people exist? I'm sure many do, and they all have their respective marks in history (or Wikipedia).

What does it take to be famous? A low number? Do I even want fame? Why did watching this movie make me feel so insignificant? Why doesn't everyone else feel the same way? Why is it that I can judge homeless people and yet admire billionaires? Why do I feel jealousy towards successful people?

Not everyone in the world can be successful, it's just impossible. Some people are completely content with their lives and are just as happy if not happier than the celebrities of the world. Take my dad for example. He has a loving family. Two sons. A wife. A thriving business. No significant health issues. Financially secure. What more could he wish for?

How about me? I have the same loving family. I attend a great university. Great friends. No health problems. Future seems bright. Or does it? Is it truly bright? Or is it more of a dull glow? I have always believed that a decent middle class life was pretty much guaranteed for me (By guarantee, I don't mean that it'll come to me automatically, I still would have to work somewhat hard). As long as nothing crazy happens in the near future (death, expulsion, etc.) I should be fine with my regular average nine to five, right?

Now what about the not so fortunate people of this world? The drop-outs, the handicapped, the abused, etc. Shouldn't I be relieved that my life isn't like theirs? They would kill to live in my shoes (Literally, my Converse All Star shoes). People tell me all the time, "be happy with what you have. Be glad you aren't like the less-than-fortunate." As the girlfriend in The Social Network says, "Be the best you that you can be."

I don't think that sits well with me. As I'm sure it doesn't with a lot of people. But time passes, things happen, circumstances aren't right, and you just tell yourself, "Hey it is what it is. You tried." I don't want that. I don't want to be 40 and have to tell myself that I am satisfied. I don't want to have a discussion with myself in 20 years trying to convince me that my life is fine the way it is. (And no, I'm not talking extravagant lifestyles, doing drugs, and partying. I'm talking about so much more than that. About ideas, legacy, redesign, and changing the way the world thinks.)

I think that every now and then people lose track of their dreams and settle in their comfortable and familiar surroundings. Then they get so good at convincing themselves that this is the life they always wanted. Then once in a while, something happens (In my case, a movie) that reminds them that they can achieve so much more.

To those who think me arrogant. Who think me hopeless. Who think this whole post is just unnecessary garbage. Who think that I am nothing more than just 1/6,700,000,000th of this planet. The comments section is just below. Go ahead, tell me.


On a side note, I can't stop thinking about what people think about me.

2 comments:

Jeffrey Shiau said...

Haha. I feel like you know what I would say already. Stop worrying about what other people think about you! Just do what makes you happy. You can distinguish yourself with new ideas and change the world and not necessarily be happy and content with your life. Many notable people in history were unhappy people. I agree with the "best you that you can be" part. But the comparing yourself almost 7 billion people thing is useless.

J3ny said...

This is a nice post man! I totally agree with some of the parts you wrote. On the other hand, I didn't have those kind of thoughts after watching the movie myself. I was rather wondering what can I do, what can I create, what is the great idea I can come up with.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
-- Desiderata

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