The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture: ‘The Social Network’ And The Legacy Of Social Media In Modern Life

Houston Matters examines the history of social media through the lens of David Fincher’s Facebook biopic.

Sony Pictures
Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Can you imagine going through a period of extended social distancing without being connected to friends and family via the Internet? It’s difficult to imagine daily life — let alone a global pandemic — without the ubiquitous presence of social media.

In the early- to mid-2000s you might remember sites like Friendster and MySpace where you could connect with your friends online. But it was ultimately Facebook that significantly expanded the social media landscape, especially when it became open to the public in 2006 — the same year that Twitter was founded.

But before that, Facebook originated as a college-exclusive social media site started by Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard, and that story is the focus of David Fincher’s 2010 film The Social Network, with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and based on a book by Ben Mezrich.

On this edition of The Bigger Picture, where Houston Matters delves into social and cultural issues that show up in cinema, producer Joshua Zinn talks about the decade-old biopic with Charles Dove, director of the Rice Film Program.

Then, Lucas Logan, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Houston-Downtown, talks about the history and legacy of social media and the good and ill that can come from it in a time a crisis.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

More Information