After two hundred years following its publication, there continues to be a profusion of studies surrounding nearly every aspect of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — from its author to the misguided monstrosity she envisioned. At present, Facebook and its creator, Mark Zuckerberg face the same level of examination from critics and users in real-time. Besides the intensity and nature of the ongoing studies, the two may in fact possess other similarities worth examining. The circumstances surrounding the creation of Victor Frankenstein’s monster, the nature of this rogue inventor’s life and work, and the creature itself — the quintessential emblem of hubris gone haywire — can all be identified in the story of our own post-modern Prometheus and his monster, Facebook. Does the classic novel provide a glimpse of how the new, unfinished story might end?
Can the similarities between Dr. Frankenstein’s and Mr. Zuckerberg’s backgrounds provide insight into why both players’ destructive inventions were created with disregard to warning signs? Would either inventor have benefitted from a thoughtful analysis of the potential consequences that these manmade machines could have on the individuals involved and society as a whole?