A Rhetorical Analysis: The Other Side Of Facebook By Jose Antonio Vargas

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Deanna Wiese Dr. Gerstle 26 October 2010 The Other Side of Facebook Jose Antonio Vargas, author of The Face of Facebook, writes “Facebook profiles are always something of a performance: you choose the details you want to share and you choose whom you share them with.” This poignant description of Facebook also describes its brilliant yet ironically socially awkward creator, Mark Zuckerberg. The article begins by listing short, matter-of-fact statements from Mark’s Facebook profile. These stark and straightforward sentences describe Mark’s chosen identity; that is, what Mark wants everybody to see but not necessarily the entire story. Vargas uses various rhetorical techniques to subtly reveal the contrast between the somewhat mysterious…show more content…
The article takes a sudden turn to reveal a darker side to the Facebook fad. Originally Zuckerberg agreed to help three upperclassmen create a social networking site but was later sued by them for stealing their idea when Zuckerberg made Facebook on his own. The author uses a great deal of formal diction and legal jargon, which can intimidate the reader. Vargas even describes one of the upperclassmen suing Zuckerberg as “Tall, wide shouldered, and gregarious,” creating a mental image that would daunt anyone. In these court hearings, some very embarrassing and damaging things had been exposed about Zuckerberg. Simply, the humble and nerdy computer programmer had not been so innocent and forthcoming as the reader was initially led to believe. Some AIM passages were quoted in the article, showing the reader a very compelling argument against the supposedly good character of Mark Zuckerberg. The author is unsympathetic towards Zuckerberg when he comments about the new Facebook movie that was soon to be released at the time. Vargas writes, “The movie is a scathing portrait, and the image of an unsmiling, insecure, and sexed-up young man will be hard to overcome.” This unrelenting image painted of Zuckerberg is not what he chose yet was forced upon him anyway, unlike every minutely controlled detail of a Facebook profile. From the simple…show more content…
Vargas does an excellent job of showing Zuckerberg’s story compared to the infamous story more publicized by the media, allowing the reader to form their own opinion of Zuckerberg and the scandals surrounding him. Vargas even goes so far as to interview the director of the movie. The interview with Sorkin, the director of “The Social Network”, gives the reader a solid identity of the public face of Mark Zuckerberg, or at least how the public has viewed Zuckerberg’s life thus far. The very next section however, the author cleverly begins another intimate and personal look into Zuckerberg’s life. This immediate contrast between the public and private life of Zuckerberg helps the reader instantly see the major distinctions between the two. Zuckerberg’s girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, is more formally introduced to the reader at this point in the article. Their relationship is described in many simple and easy sentences, reflecting much of how they both live their more introverted lifestyles. By writing, “Sundays are reserved for Asian cuisine” Vargas introduces a much more mature and straightforward side to Zuckerberg’s personality. This short sentence brings Zuckerberg down to such a basic level in that everybody has little routines and things they do on certain days with friends or family; by emphasizing this one little routine he has with his

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