Before he was the CEO of one of the biggest private corporations in the world, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was a high school senior anxiously checking his college application status with a behemoth, early-2000s PC on the lower bunk of his bed at his parents’ house. Who hasn’t been there, right?
On Tuesday, Zuckerberg posted a home video of the moment he found out that he was accepted into Harvard, featuring nerdy-teen Zuck, questionable shakey-cam cinematography by Zuck’s Dad, and of course, the nonplussed family dog Coconut. The video is another carefully-released tidbit of Zuckerberg’s personal life, and it’s actually pretty funny.
Dan Sachs, another Facebook employee, quipped that founding the social network was a “very roundabout way to avoid Harvard’s core curriculum requirements,” which led to another little detail from Zuck.
“That was definitely not my plan. Although, before I went to college, my mom bet me I’d drop out, and my younger sister bet me she’d finish college before me,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I bet them I’d get a degree. Now I suppose the cycle is complete.”
It turns out everyone was right — Zuckerberg said in the post that he’s going back to Harvard’s commencement to finally get his degree next week.
Zuckerberg’s dad is an appropriately goofy cinematographer and narrator, but the real star of the show here is the family dog, Coconut, who looks up from the jumble of computer towers and monitors on the floor in a way that tells us she is glad she will be dead before her owner will have acquired Instagram and posted her photo online.
Zuckerberg says he “remembers exactly” what he was doing when he got the acceptance, and will tell us all during his commencement speech. That’ll be interesting for sure, as the video is kinda funny. As another user pointed out, Zuckerberg checks his acceptance quickly, fist pumps briefly, and then goes back to doing something else. Zuckerberg has been widely described as a person of intense focus, so it makes sense that a little thing like an Ivy League college application status might get in the way of another project he was passionate about.
The video is also another data point in an interesting trend for Zuckerberg. Over the past five months, Zuckerberg has been engaged in a public relations campaign, where he, for lack of a better way of putting it, actually uses his own social network. Zuckerberg’s used Facebook over the years to post product updates, life announcements, and various statements, but he’s been active in a slightly different way in 2017, posting more personal content and attempting to reshape his public image to a friendlier, more human user — like the slightly-awkward tour of his home in his Jarvis A.I. video. His yearly challenge in 2017 is to visit all 50 states in the U.S., which has manifested into a string of photo-ops with the same groups that touring politicians love: community members doing good, blue-collar heroes, auto workers, firefighters, and even the freakin’ Pope (albeit a bit before 2017).
The big internet rumor, of course, is that he’s running for president. Zuckerberg has denied this, while also making sure his company is set up in a way that leaves him free to run for public office. For now, Zuckerberg’s presidential ambitions are a mystery, but if he does choose to jump into that race, the White House would be a long, long way from a future drop-out’s childhood bedroom.