By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Mark Zuckerberg was in town yesterday, recruiting talent at Harvard and MIT for Facebook, and from the way some of us reacted, you would think a combination of the Pope, Benjamin Franklin, and Ted Williams had decided to stroll through Harvard Square.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Not that Mark Zuckerberg isn’t something of a big deal, by corporate standards.

He is the co-founder of the most successful web site ever, Facebook, which has made him a multi-billionaire by transforming the way we use social media to the point where Time Magazine named him the Person of the Year in 2010, which puts him a league with the likes of Ghandi, FDR, and Ronald Reagan.

Then again, the Ayatollah Khomeini was also once Time’s Person of the Year.

Anyway, Zuckerberg is a big deal in the same way the late Steve Jobs was, someone with inspiration that was translated into huge commercial success.

And there he was yesterday, looking foolish in front of the cameras in a T-shirt and sweats.

Actually, I’m glad Zuckerberg hasn’t yet learned the merits of showing respect for your position and the people you are conducting a business meeting with by dressing the part.

It underscores what a shallow, callow kid he still seems to be.

And that’s appropriate, because his product and his celebrity seem emblematic of the shallow, callow times we live in.

Facebook is fun, and provides an easy way for people to connect with one another, as far as one can connect with another human online.

But if Facebook has changed the world or the human condition for the better in any truly meaningful way, what is it?

Steve Jobs created brilliant gadgets we all like to use, but in the end, they’re just gadgets.

I would argue, no disrespect intended, that one third-grade teacher does more for humanity in one week of school than Mark Zuckerberg has done so far.

Actually, check that, he gave $100 million to the Newark Public Schools.

That was productive.

Maybe he could break off a few bucks more and buy himself a tie.

Respect, after all, is a two-way street.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (20)
  1. NewEnglandBob says:

    Jon Keller not only fails to impress but is annoying and biased. Fire him, I love channel 4 but turn it off whenever Keller appears.

    1. Yourwayoffbase says:

      Hey Jon

      Those gadget you say Mr. Jobs created are doing wonders in the medical community and also children/adults with autism. Maybe before you run off your mouth about what wonders Mr. Jobs created you should check your facts! Signed someone who Truly knows the facts about those gadgets.

    2. gramp says:

      T-Shirts, Sweats, Sneakers & ‘Boob’s’

      The last two generations of Parents have set the tone/example for today’s culture….It started 20 years ago with ‘Causal Friday’….To where we are today: Cleavage, Butt Cracks, Baseball Hats (90 degrees off center) & Bare Mid-Drifts!….We only have to go to the local bus stop, RMV or ‘public school’ hallway to see where he got/learned his fashion sense….

      The boys look like ‘bums’ & girls look like ‘Street Walkers’….

      They’re the product of our permissive, loose, nobody’s responsible, coddled society of today!


  2. mattinjersey says:

    Maybe Jon Keller is grumpy that he’s not worth $40 billion.

  3. blackbear1 says:

    Jon,all us Teachers, both retired and active, thank you for the quick bit of recognition for what we contribute. No offense to this brilliant kid, but a sense of propriety would be nice.

  4. tsal says:

    So perhaps what grabbed me wasn’t your intent but I got a kick out of seeing Ted’s name next to Franklin?

    Not your intent? I think I may have seen your intent a bit more clearly than some of the first posters here. Yes FB is huge and yes it does connect people………..and now businesses. But we are moving from the personal to …..well, I have no idea where we are moving and I’m not sure it’s a good thing.

    You are right and it’s far too easy with all of the “gadgets” surrounding us to lose sight of the fact that it’s the every day person – such as an educator – who truly has the impact on where we are as a people and a society. The fact that we have lost sight of that is evident in the salaries earned by those creating the gadgets compared to those who contribute day in and day out.

  5. Bonnipre says:

    Jon Keller.. my blood is boiling!!! I am not a big Facebook fan… however, Mark has had success doing something he loves. The remark about the way he dresses being disrespectful and shallow is simply rude and shallow in itself. Why should he be judged according to how he dresses?? It is not as if he was dressed in an indecent manner. Should Mark now conform and buy a tie because it bothers some people?? Why should he “look the part” and be a clone. Let him be himself, represent himself,share his experiences without trying to pacify everyone. You are right, respect IS a two-way street.

    1. tsal says:

      Bonnipre – it may be Jon is thinking of the time when a person knew that dress was synonymous with respect – accompanied by holding the door for someone, standing when an elder or a woman enters a room, waiting until the hostess is seated and has taken a bite of food to take your first bite, saying please and thank you and on and on. It goes much further than dress. Respect in general is a lost art in our society and Mark is setting an example.

    2. Willow says:

      What would you wear to an interview, or shouldn’t it matter how you present yourself to a potential employer?

  6. Really? says:

    Jon, Jon, Jon. Because he doesn’t wear a tie Mr. Zuckerberg is unprofessional? The tie doesn’t make the man. I don’t know where the quote comes from, but it seems very fitting here.

    Mark Zukerberg accomplished something that basically changed (for better or worse) how we think about communication. Now it’s our turn to figure out how to use the tool.

    I think you were just trying to get a rise out of your audience today. And for you to play on what seem to be his social inadequacies is really just a cheap shot. Leave that to the Hearld.

    1. tsal says:

      I’ve heard the tie doesn’t make the man, the clothes make the man. Twain said “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

  7. Willow says:

    Jon, I agree with you. I worked in HR for 18 years before retiring, and you wouldn’t believe what came through my door on a regular basis. People show up to apply for a job with vulger, printed T-shirts, pajamas, and some looking like they just rolled out of bed. No one is taking away from what this young man has accomplished, but gone are the days when a professional looked like one. In my opinion, when someone, male or female, addresses anyone in anything business related, attention and respect is always given to that person who looks like he should be addressing something important. It’s obvious which of the folks commenting here today are from the dressed down generation. I was recently at a wedding that was totally disgusting in the way many of the guests dressed to attend.

  8. Tuke says:

    Well, I wouldn’t put him in the class of Ghandi. But anyone who can create good paying jobs in this economy gets my respect.

  9. arnold says:

    Keller is an idiot. Perhaps he thinks nobody should be allowed to make money unless they put a tie on. The dinosaur doesn’t understand that people are seeing through the ridiculous conventions we have had.

    1. tsal says:

      one of those conventions was being respectful – which would include not calling people names for what they believe. Do you think that is a convention we should toss out with the tie?

      1. Wiillow says:

        tsal, I agree. I guess even manners and respect have gone the way of “casual.” Name calling and disrespect, unfortunately, is one of the downsides to being able to comment anonymously behind the keyboard and say nasty things to others that you would not otherwise say to their face. Why does it seem like for all the progress we’ve made technically, we continue to lose much of our humanity towards one another?

      2. tsal says:

        Willow I had to chuckle as I read your comment. You just answered Jon’s question, “But if Facebook has changed the world or the human condition for the better in any truly meaningful way, what is it?” The blogs and FB etc are in too many instances allowing for people to say things they would never say to a person’s face and even worse to bully others by forming private groups.

  10. Fenway12 says:

    Best Keller in a while! With all the focus on the occupieds Zuckerberg should have come dressed to impress. He should have showed that he is a powerful formitable employer with valuable jobs to offer.. Way to go Keller@Large

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