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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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