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Why Pinterest is Better Than Facebook (and how I don’t care if you “like” Wal-Mart)

Facebook and I used to have a hot and heavy relationship. Sure, I tweeted. I blogged. But Facebook was my community, a place I went several times a day to reconnect and watch way too many cute cat videos. It was great. It was puppy (or kitty) love.

But times, they are a-changin’. The day I started getting notifications about which of my friends “like” Wal-mart or Avon or about a hundred other corporations, I started to wonder where this relationship was going. And not in a ” let’s get more serious” kind of way. It was more of a “maybe we should see other people” type of situation. I felt badly. I tried to soldier on. But the day I stopped getting notifications of my sister’s hilarious blog updates, even after I specifically checked the “yes, pretty please subscribe me or take a vial of my blood for your record-keeping purposes or recommend my “like” to everyone on the freakin’ planet, I still only get her updates every once and a while. That’s lame. I don’t like it anymore.

But my family and friends and stuff I care about are all still there, mingled with the detritus, so Facebook and I are still friends, just not so very much in love as we once were. It’s fine because people change. And sometimes people meet Pinterest.

Here, in no specific order, are the reasons why Pinterest is better than Facebook:

1.) No ads. It’s like the difference between watching TV in the 80’s vs. TiVo. Sure, you could run to the bathroom or fix yourself a sandwich while models tried to sell you New Coke during commercial breaks, but it would have been way better if I could have just watched episodes of the best shows all the way through (Facts of Life and Three’s Company, in case you are wondering). I really don’t need any more advertising in my life. Seriously.

2.) You follow people based on their tastes and interests, not whether or not you had the same 2nd grade teacher (no offense to my fellow 1981 Ms. Hammelef peeps – we rocked the Polar Pride). You can also just follow specific boards. For example, if a person has really great taste in steampunk couture but also enjoys the fine art of body piercing and torture devices (not an unlikely combo, by the way), you can just follow the steampunk page without getting your eyeballs raped on a daily basis. It’s a win/win.

3.) Pinterest is like shopping – but not the kind of shopping I hate which is going to the mall with lots of money I don’t have to choose from the same clothes at the same stores as everyone else. Pinterest is like Goodwill, where you might have to sift through some things to get to the good stuff, but when you find it you get to show it off to everyone else and they swoon just a bit (or random strangers pin the crap out of it – it’s the same feeling).

4.) Pinterest feels┬ámore global. I know Facebook has exploded all over the world, but even if a few of your childhood or college friends live abroad, they’re still Americans abroad and the same people who copied off you in Algebra class. On Pinterest you actually start to notice cultural sensibilities, different art, different clothing styles. You’re introduced (if you choose) to a broader taste palette that can be eye-opening and refreshing.

5.) It’s pretty. This really should have been number one but I guess I was trying to be thoughtful and exercise some critical thinking. But when you get right down to it, Pinterest is gorgeous (if you put some thought into who you follow). It’s like a mini-vacation in the middle (and beginning and end) of my day. If that doesn’t make it better than another Wal-Mart ad, I don’t know what does.

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I’ve been known to talk about my “core” a lot – that part of the self that isn’t penetrated by outside experience, strong in a non-attached sort of way. I’m usually talking about yoga and making some joke about my physical core being all flabby, which makes me worry about the state of my aforementioned metaphysical core I’m sure it’s pretty annoying to anyone who has to listen, and for that, I offer my condolences.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to be spared that mini-Amanda-lecture-series a.) consider yourself lucky and b.) don’t tell those other people, but I may have been wrong.

I know you’re shocked.

We speak about a core Self as if there is some true person buried beneath the layers of self, as if enough digging will unearth a Truth long hidden, some deeper part of our personality that will once-and-for-all explain ourselves to ourselves. I suppose it’s the urge behind the whole “finding yourself” business everyone was supposed to figure out in their 20’s.

Well, I’m 38 (I almost typed 37 – that goes to show a certain slippage of self right there, don’t you think?) Any sort of core identity seems to be slipping further and further away as I get older, when I thought the reverse would happen.

The older I get the more I’m struck by a terrifying idea – I’m just making this crap up. And when I look around at everyone else it unsettles me even more – everyone else is obviously making it up too. Duh. Y’all aren’t even good fakers.

So now I’m having to rethink this whole idea of a core – it’s elusive. I’m going to go all spiritual here for a second, but this whole core-business seems to be the exact opposite of identifying with an idea of who you are and all about tapping into something that is much bigger than any of us – something that asks nothing, demands nothing, but encompasses us all. It’s like looking out at the night sky and realizing how tiny you actually are.

It’s not what I thought being a grown-up was all about. But it is liberating, in a jumping-off-a-cliff sort of way, so at least there’s that.

Now let me go anchor this rope to a tree before I creep over the edge.

I can’t wait to see what I find down there.

Namaste

personal growth, yoga

Jumping Off Cliffs and How “Grown-ups” Are All Big Fakers

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Living a creative life is oftentimes a confusing endeavor. I don’t know where ideas come from. I don’t know why I want to write stories about witches and demented fairy-folk, but I do. Probably the same reason I want to draw pictures of rainbow haired lasses with superpowers little girls in frilly frocks aren’t expected to possess.

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Winter

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