But that doesn’t explain why the teenage Zuckerberg gave away his free app for an MP3 player (similar to the very popular Pandora, as it recognized your taste in music), rather than selling it to Microsoft. What power was he hoping to accrue to himself in high school, at seventeen? Girls, was it? Except the girl motivation is patently phony—with a brief interruption Zuckerberg has been dating the same Chinese-American, now a medical student, since 2003, a fact the movie omits entirely. At the end of the film, when all the suing has come to an end (“Pay them. In the scheme of things it’s a parking ticket”), we’re offered a Zuckerberg slumped before his laptop, still obsessed with the long-lost Erica, sending a “Friend request” to her on Facebook, and then refreshing the page, over and over, in expectation of her reply…. Fincher’s contemporary window-dressing is so convincing that it wasn’t until this very last scene that I realized the obvious progenitor of this wildly enjoyable, wildly inaccurate biopic. Hollywood still believes that behind every mogul there’s an idée fixe: Rosebud—meet Erica.
According to results from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the rates of sexual intercourse among high school students decreased between 1991 and 2007, while the rates of condom use increased. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that between 1988 and 2010, the percentage of teenage girls who were sexually active dropped from 37 to 27. And the age at which both men and women lose their virginity is going slightly up, not down (61 percent of Americans have had sex by the time they’re 18). As for college students, a study of a national sample of 1,800 young people who have completed at least one year of college recently found that percent of respondents reported that they had sex weekly or more, compared to percent of students from an earlier era. Meanwhile, the number who said they’d had more than two sexual partners since turning 18 stayed almost exactly the same. (It’s a matter of conjecture why these numbers are changing, but some sociologists chalk it up to the inherent caution of a generation raised by helicopter parents.)