The Transcendental Facebook

Sometime last week I came across the this video on Facebook. It’s a great video. I find it intriguing because of what Facebook explicitly and implicitly says about itself.

Below is an exchange I had on Facebook with someone over the video. As always, feel free to add to the conversation. It is much appreciated and enjoyed.

Me: Maybe I’m reading into this, but it’s curious that near the end of the Narrator’s last sentence (1:20 – “Maybe the reason we make all these things, is to remind ourselves that we are not [alone]” in reference to the question of whether or not we are alone) the last ‘clip’ we see is a similar action to that of God reaching out to Adam in Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel.

It’s curious to me because if this connection is intentional, then it makes me wonder what is FACEBOOK trying to imply? Is FACEBOOK in a matter of speaking God, or at least like God? Perhaps the connection is that FB is transcendent to the human experience on the level of God’s transcendence to humanity. I mean the transcendence bit makes sense at least because the video is very clearly showing all the ways humans are connected.

But it’s still curious that FB should conjure up the imagery of Michelangelo’s painting. I love references like this. But I am also weary of this imagery because I wonder if FB is inserting themselves to be the “Hand of God.” Not because of any blasphemy that has been made, but only because I wonder if FB sees itself in a position to claim “God-Like” status in Social Media. Which is certainly reasonable for them to claim. But no one likes a braggart.

Mostly, I am just rambling and musing here. But it’s curious all the same. Essentially the question is what is FB trying to say about itself in the last 10 seconds of the video? And of course, that’s a loaded question.

Response:  Didn’t you watch the video? Facebook is like a chair, not God. those are two very different things.

Me: Haha. Yes I did watch the video. 🙂

But it does seem to me that the video is moving from the micro to the macro as it moves from a chair with one person on it to chairs with many people on them to a dance party to sporting events with multiple people in attendance to a “great nation” to the whole earth then to the universe. The chair is a microcosm of a larger whole that is the universe. So I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say that FB is only like a chair.

The video in fact is saying that FB is like many other things. Of which a chair is the smallest thing it is like. Otherwise, why move from the small to the big and then compare itself to those things along the way? If FB meant to only compare itself to a chair then it should have no need to mention the other things it does in the video.

Thus, and although many steps removed, I don’t think it’s out of the question to see FB comparing itself to a chair and also God; based on the progression of the micro to the macro in the video.

I could very well be wrong in my interpretation. But more than anything, all I am really noting and musing about is the curious similarity between the hands reaching out at the end of the video and Michelangelo’s painting. Surely, you can also see that connection? And if that connection is intentional, then what is FB trying to say about itself?

And for the record I think it’s a spectacular video. Very well done.

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