Welcome to Adulthood

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The Great Facebook Debate and the Community of Adulthood


As you know, Welcome to Adulthood loves its contributing writers! In fact, we love them so much that we are big fans of their work too!

Recently, I read an article posted on David Daedalus’s blog that was really engaging. It was one of those articles that you just can’t stop thinking about. Daedalus wrote that Facebook needs to be “out-Facebooked.” He noted that he didn’t want to see:

“Friends of yours started having babies and suddenly half of your newsfeed is pictures of  little Ethan or Tammy barfing pureed peas onto the shoulder of a proud hipster parent who you were roommates with senior year and don’t really have a connection with now. Former lovers and friends of former lovers are awkwardly still on your friends lists, pictures of you and your former paramours now have to be untagged lest your current squeeze see them and get wonky.”

Daedalus questions the connective value of Facebook when he says, “Social Networking isn’t about connecting with people, it’s about making yourself appear interesting so other people will want to connect with you.”

Ultimately (and of course he says it so much more eloquently and convincingly), he is positing that there is a better way to run a social networking site that fits your need for voyeurism and connection, that would be far less superficial in personal engagement and wouldn’t rely on tedious self-curation. Daedalus also acknowledges that Facebook has lost its edge – that somewhere in the clunky format changes and expanded social circles to your Aunt Emily, your parents, and your boss, Facebook has ceased to retain that exclusive mystique.

I guess I’m not as critical of Facebook. To me, what makes Facebook pretty great is that you can tailor it to your unique values. So, one person may not really care to see their college roommate’s child’s first steps – it adds no value to their life. But for me, watching College Roommate Sally’s Baby on my newsfeed adds significant value to my life, regardless if I regularly engage with Sally Roommate. It adds value because it appeals very strongly to my sense of community.

Facebook has fundamentally changed our notion of “community.” In the old days, the idea of community was “the village” that was uniquely within each of our worldviews. In the old days, you knew most people in the village, you knocked on doors, you had dinner or drinks with a person. People rarely left the village, people dated and married via the village network, and you spent much of your life tightly wrapped within village interactions. You didn’t need pictures of Sally Roommate’s Baby, because you lived down the street from her. You didn’t need to keep tabs on a former lover because you would unfortunately be doomed to see them at some point around the village (probably while you were WITH your “current  squeeze”, who still would “get wonky.”)

The world has become more sophisticated and, inevitably, our “villages” have expanded as a result. Facebook has expanded the village community so that you CAN keep in touch with Sally Roommate without having to do much work. (Sally Roommate represents the friends whom you think fondly of but probably wouldn’t have felt inspired to have kept in contact with over the years if the means of communication were only phone, mail, and even email.)

By virtue of mutually EXISTING on your Friends Page, you are connecting with Sally Roommate. By connecting with Sally Roommate you are adding value to your life (even if it just means you get to have a nice smile over morning coffee when you see another picture of her baby in a Lion costume. Smiling = value.) By adding value to your life, your community is vital to you and becomes a really successful support and social tool!

Community is only valuable because it is focused on connecting: whether you live in a village and have dinner with Aunt Emily and her neighbors’ every Sunday, or whether your Facebook wall is pasted with mostly-interesting things from mostly-interesting people who you, for the most part, are fond of….

Facebook may not have retained its coolness factor, but it has done something greater than it probably ever intended: it has forged a new conception of community. Because of Facebook I provided my former neighbor in Los Angeles with my best-ever blueberry muffin recipe for her baby shower. Because of Facebook my fond friends from high school can see pictures of my handsome boyfriend, and I can see pictures from their graduations from graduate school. Because of Facebook I finally have a face to put to the name of my elementary school pen pal. Because of Facebook I keep in touch with my sister fairly often. Because of Facebook, the girl I met once through a mutual friend wrote me a heartfelt email that brought tears to my eyes when I had posted a status that my beloved cat had died.

It takes a lot of support to create a happy life for yourself. It takes connecting and learning from others. It takes the kindness of strangers. It takes wise mentors.  It takes sharing and celebrating and sympathy and silliness.

It takes a village, or *352 friends on your Facebook.

*Insert your village census count here.


What do you think? What is Facebook’s value to you, if any? Are you ready to see the next social network “out-Facebook” Facebook? Is Facebook creating a village community, or merely overexposing us?

Weigh in Adulthooders!


Photo via Thos003 on Flickr.

Adulthood is Winning! Handmade Earring Give-Away!

Designs by Corinne

Handmade Jewelry


One of the great joys of being an adult is being able to hone your craft. Perhaps you play an instrument, you paint, you do photography, or you write. Adulthood is about celebrating the joys of your craft, and sharing your joy with others.

In the spirit of this idea, Welcome to Adulthood is announcing some very exciting news! The lovely and talented Corinne Burnett of DesignsbyCorinne is giving away one pair of her exquisite and fun handmade petal earrings!

I was introduced to Corinne’s work because I saw someone wearing a pair of her earrings. “I loveeeee your earrings!” I gushed. The woman’s earrings were bright yellow and the pop of color was striking and fitting for the perfect California summer day.  The woman graciously put me in touch with Corinne and I am now the proud owner of red earrings and Carolina blue ones. Literally, every single time I have worn these earrings I get at least 2-5 compliments.

What is most exciting about these earrings is that they are all handmade, one little petal at a time, from polymer clay.

My favorite pieces of jewelry are the ones that are handmade. Jewelry designers meticulously craft every detail and every piece is unique. Handmade jewelry is also my favorite because I believe that adulthood is very much about community. To that end, it is important to me to support local artisans, small businesses, and handmade products that I really like.

And I LOVE Corinne’s earrings.

Corinne has graciously agreed to give away one pair of her fabulous earrings to one lucky winner! The best part, you get to pick the color you want!

Here’s how you enter the contest:

1)      Your shipping address must be in the United States. (Sorry, my dear international readers! But you can still buy from Corinne’s Etsy site!)

2)      Visit Corinne’s Etsy page and check out her earrings.

3)      Leave a comment on Welcome to Adulthood about any of the following topics: say something wonderful about Corinne and her jewelry, say something interesting about handmade jewelry in general, or add your thoughts on the topic of Adulthood as Community. (To comment, click the “Read More” button below)

4)      To win, you must enter a valid email address on the comment form.

5)      Limit one entry per person.

6)      Contest ends Monday, September 12, at 12:00 p.m. PST.

7)      Winner will be selected at random using Random.org and will be contacted on  September 13 via email.

Good luck everyone!!

Wordless Wednesday: Adulthood is Surprising

April Fools’! Nope, it’s no joke – It is my SITS Day!

 (Can’t view Welcome to Adulthood in all its glory? Nope, it isn’t a April Fools’ prank. We are best viewed on more current versions of IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc. Or try clicking here.)


When I received an email about my SITS day, I was at work. Suddenly, my voice rang out over the silent sea of cubicles, “APRIL 1 is my SITS DAY! YIP-YIPPEE!!” And then I danced and twirled and jumped for joy.

My cube mate swiveled around quickly in her chair to face me. Bewildered but amused she asked, “Your SITS Day? You need a whole day to SIT? Wait, I don’t get it. Why are you jumping up and down right now in the middle of the office?”

I explained to her (as well as to the handful of other heads who had bobbed above the cubicle walls to witness my excitement) just how special of a day this was for me.

I told them about how I joined this great community of about 8,000 sassy ladies (and some men) bloggers who had the right idea: support each other. That means by reading other blogs, by engaging, by commenting, by writing, by networking.

“And it is called SIT??” my colleague asked again.

“No, SITS. The Secret Is in The Sauce. But, it’s what the name really represents that counts.”

I told them how I went to Bloggy Boot Camp last year with my bff Nicole (of The Fickle Nickle), and how excited we were to meet so many awesome, intelligent, motivated bloggers from around the country. To be chosen as Featured Blogger on this April Fools’ Day is unbelievable. (I did think it was a joke at first!) Are you all really here??  This is the luckiest April Fools’ Day to date!

One of my favorite things about being an adult are the moments that are so special that you know you will remember them forever. The moments that feel so good that you want to prance, spin, sing, laugh, leap, hug, and YIP-YIPPEE with your hands in the air! This, my friends, is one of those moments for me. What have been those kinds of joyous adulthood moments for YOU? Share in the comments!

I am happy to meet all of you!  To hear your stories! To read your blogs! To celebrate and commiserate all things wonderful or challenging about adulthood together in this neat little community! If you want to stay involved with everything happening on Welcome to Adulthood, please feel free to subscribe, explore, bookmark, or better yet, submit!

I’m inspired by all of you. And here, among the many meditations on adulthood, I hope that you find something that inspires you too!

(If you want to leave a comment and say hello, click on “Read More.” I promise I will get back to each and every one of ya’. Hooray for new friends!)

Photo via CLSPeace on Flickr.

Wordless Wednesday: Adulthood is Clever



Photo of “iCake” via Janetmck on Flickr.

Guest Blog: Hungry for Thanksgiving

“Forget all the other bready options on that buffet table and give me the weird-looking celery-studded stuff. So GOOD to get a bite of stuffing, a bite of turkey and gravy, and a bite of cranberry sauce all mixed up together in your mouth!” – Excerpt from Hungry for Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season for guest bloggers!

This holiday season, I am thankful for my amazing group of blog collaborators who continue to inspire and amaze me with their incredible writing abilities, and wonderful stories.

Here’s a guest blogger, the sassy Mim, who gave us a personal perspective on death that was a quiet little blog entry but was packed with meaning and was incredibly moving. I always learn from her (especially lately — on a personal level, Mim is about as wise as they get) and I am so excited and honored to feature her again on Welcome to Adulthood. Did I mention that Mim is about to jump into the world of blogging? Her blog will be launched next week. Stay tuned right here for all the juicy URL details.

I am also excited to feature a guest blog from two of my favorite ladies at 2GirlsonaBench, Tricia and Siana. Stay tuned, because after the holidays we will kick off our first blog in our Inhabit series from two little ladies that you will not be able to get enough of. (Luckily, you can amuse yourself for hours on their blog.)

But for now, enjoy this little diddy courtesy of Mim that is so good you can almost taste it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hungry for Thanksgiving

by Mim

When I was a kid, my family celebrated Thanksgiving at our church by helping serve a community meal. I don’t know if we ever had a conversation about the great effort to feed the hungry on the holiday that’s all about gluttony and counting blessings. We just showed up, cooked, served, smiled. Seems maybe there should be some great life lessons in there somewhere. But really, for me, Thanksgiving has mostly always been about the food.

Mom would get up early and, following Grampy’s recipe, she’d sauté celery, onions and poultry seasoning in Crisco until the whole house smelled festive and edible. Before we kids had finished our Frosted Flakes, she had stuffed the huge bird and heaved it into the oven. And by the time we arrived to deliver the finished, golden-crisped turkey to the fellowship hall kitchen, we were bouncing off the walls from the anticipation of eating the magnificent thing. (…)

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Wordless Wednesday: Adulthood is Humorous

[Image via Stephan Spencer.]

Welcome to Adulthood – Our New Site is HERE!

After months of planning, the new Welcome to Adulthood site has finally launched!
(Having problems viewing all our cool features? We run best in Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla, Chrome, or Safari. Our excellent designer Mike is also working on fixing all the bugs for the old versions of your browsers. Stay tuned!)

If Adulthood is about milestones, this has to be the biggest milestone our little-blog-that-could has achieved in its nearly two years of existence.

When I first conceived the blog, I had a vision of a blog that was a repository of collective wisdom about the themes and issues and complexities and celebrations of being an adult. I wanted it to be a place where people could come and learn from one another. A place where people could engage in the dialogues and discussions about what was relevant to them as an adult – whether they engaged as silent reader who visited the site, as a frequent commenter who gets the discussions going, or as a guest blogger.

In its new and improved layout, Welcome to Adulthood can finally grow into the dynamic space that it was always conceived of being.

But making the new look wasn’t a process that happened in a vacuum. We took all of YOUR feedback very seriously. You wanted Adulthood updates in your email – check! You wanted a more logical way to explore ideas and themes – check! You wanted more themes—check! You wanted to be able to submit for publication on the blog–check!

Morgan and I worked hard to hear all of your great words of encouragement and feedback and put it into one master layout (on a budget of course.) We couldn’t have done any of it without the work of our wonderful and talented designer, Mike Smith of Made by Guerrilla. Honestly, I can’t say enough great things about Mike. He was absolutely amazing to work with, and was so patient with Morgan and I’s many requests. He was also a knowledgeable sounding board for us on things we weren’t sure about, and gave us honest, thoughtful advice. He worked within our budget and he was extremely trustworthy. Not to mention, though we have never met him (he is out of Knoxville and we are in San Diego), he is a really nice person and someone I now consider a friend. It goes without saying that Mike is extremely talented, and we love the art direction he took our blog.

So, everyone, take a look around and let us know what you think of our new digs! Also, check out our “Submit” tab for more information on our first Call for Submissions.

Watching a project you have worked so hard on hit such a milestone is an awesome feeling. Friends, today adulthood feels really inspiring and I want to thank you all so much for all the love and support you have given us in this special little Welcome to Adulthood community that we have all helped to create.



Guest Blog: Rated "R" Movies and the Quest for Adulthood

“To me, in my 13 year-old brain, seeing this movie is what being a grown-up meant.”

Rated “R” Movies and the Quest for Adulthood

By Lukus Williams

The A.V. Club is where the cool, smarmy kids (like me!) go to read insightful ruminations on entertainment media of all types. After scrutinizing the latest review of a movie or album with the acuity of my liberal arts education, I often race to the comments section to see what other like minded readers have gleaned from a reviewer’s unabashed praise of a movie like “Inception” or the total smackdown of “The Last Airbender.”

Like any other blog, large or small, the life is in the comments section – which is the inspiration for the A.V. Club’s AVQ&A series, where staff and readers discuss pop-culture question of high substance.

This week’s AVQ&A just so happened to invade Welcome To Adulthood territory:

I was 10 or 11 when the Atom Egoyan movie Exotica came out, and I remember being really intrigued by it. It seemed, in my mind, to be this sophisticated, adult movie—the kind of thing real grow-ups watched instead of action films and romantic comedies. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to watch it. Are there any similar cultural items which represented “adulthood” to you as a child? And did you ever check them out? If so, how did they play to your expectations? I eventually rented Exotica as a 19-year-old, and found it kind of boring. –Kristen

At various stages of my youth, there were always different movies that appeared as a marker of adulthood to me.

When I was in the first grade, the lady who babysat me had a son in fifth grade named Ryan. Ryan liked to regale me of his tales of being a fifth grader, how he got to play on the cooler side of the playground, and of course how freaking awesome Terminator 2: Judgment Day was. My mom, of course, wasn’t going to ever let me watch it. I did everything I could to see the movie, I even worked to make enough to buy a ticket for me and my dad to both go, but still I was denied.

It wasn’t until I was 11 years old that I was able to see the film, and you know what? Ryan was totally right, it is freaking awesome. Best Terminator movie still, to date – and Ryan was right on his second point, the movie was totally cooler than RoboCop ever was.

Not wanting a repeat of this Terminator fiasco, I longed for a clever plan to see Starship Troopers two years later. Mark, a 14 year-old god amongst the rest of my 12-13 year-old group of friends had managed to see the R-rated movie without a parent, and told us we needed to see it. Following his advice, we went to a matinee on a weekday where the old man who sells tickets barely cared enough to take our money, let alone check how old we were.

To me, in my 13 year-old brain, seeing this movie is what being a grown-up meant. The main characters were cool, they cussed, they shot giant bugs in outer space and oh… there were boobs. Thanks to a shower scene and a sex scene, my teenage mind was forever changed!

Looking back, Starship Troopers is a terrible movie. It’s a very poor adaptation of its source material. The entire thing is simply bad, even for a pulpy sci-fi flick. And while I’d like to believe I’ve totally outgrown the idea that seeing dudes blowing up aliens is a sign of adulthood and manliness… at the very least, it would be a lie to say that Dina Meyer’s breasts weren’t burned into my psyche, and who knows what damage that has wrought?

What about the rest of you adulthooders?

What movies or TV shows were the forbidden fruit of your youth, and did they stand the test of time?

(Photo via Dietrichthrall)

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