I know you’re thinking “Him? That guy who makes me relive horrible childhood memories by connecting with people I never intended to talk to again? The one who revealed to me that my ex is in a new relationship?” Yes, that’s the one.
Truth be told I was of the type who blamed Zuckerberg for the social networking site and all of my problems with it. But the thing is, folks, even though you may love-to-hate Facebook (like me) and after watching The Social Network your feelings were likely tipped towards the hate side, no one is forcing you to stay on that site. No one. And in the end they gave him this honor for a reason, here’s why I think that is.
Aside from the fact that he created what is arguably the most influential social networking site of our time— surging past 500 million users— he’s also the world’s youngest billionaire at 26, and more importantly has made some truly incredible charitable contributions.
Now, before you get fussy about charitable donations and “Are they really green?” well yes, yes they are. Because we believe that when you take actions to advance the world as a whole, to give of yourself towards the betterment of others, you cause a ripple effect that will trickle down to all matters green.
Case in point: his philanthropic efforts started in education, where he donated $100 million to improve the chronically troubled Newark, NJ public school system. The hope there being that educated young people will lead to a more informed country and little thinkers that will work to improve our planet.
In addition he recently signed “The Giving Pledge,” a deal that promises he will give away most of his $6.9 billion fortune to charities (including the green ones!). He joins 15 other billionaires in that pledge— including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
So, does Zuckerberg deserve Time’s Person of the Year? Sure. He’s certainly proven himself to be a future philanthropist and we hope that his charitable donations continue, regardless of what their motivations may be (as some have argued that all of this giving is the result of image damage control).