PROVO -- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he always believed someone would create a social networking site that allowed people worldwide to connect with each other -- he just never thought it would be him.
The 26-year-old multibillionaire and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, spoke Friday at a Brigham Young University technology forum.
Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook as a sophomore at Harvard. It was designed as a campus-only forum. Today, more than half-a-billion people use the site.
"I want Mark to know that the reason I invited him here today was to get you to finally accept me as a friend," Hatch said, drawing a laugh from students gathered in the Marriott Center.
Hatch -- in a suit -- and Zuckerberg -- in jeans and a hoodie -- answered questions from students submitted through BYU's Facebook page. They discussed the role of technology in education and government's role in helping students develop the next great idea.
"Well, I think the best thing government can do is keep out of the way," said Hatch, who leads the Senate's high-tech task force.
Zuckerberg said he never intended to build a company and credited Facebook's success to a couple of thousand energetic, passionate employees, who have created a system that allows users to generate their own applications so that Facebook can be what they want it to be.
Zuckerberg said Facebook is as much about psychology, his other major at Harvard, as it is about computers.
"The thing that I think is really important about psychology is that all of these problems, at the end of the day, are human problems," he said. "The things that people are most interested in are what's going on with people they care about."
Zuckerberg advised soon-to-be graduates hoping to land a job with his company to be passionate about what they do, whether it's gaming or technology. He said he's not looking for employees who think Facebook is perfect, but for people who can help it grow.
As a tool, technology has widened the opportunities and options for learning, communications, politics and society in general, Zuckerberg said. He notes that the Internet has allowed people to connect around the world, whether it's students and teachers in classroom settings or private citizens on the opposite sides of political debates. He says there's a Facebook app --peace.facebook.com -- that highlights friendships developed between people in countries that have tense relationships.
"I do think in a way the Internet just gives everyone a voice," he said.