As part of my recruiting efforts, I once described Pinterest to a friend of mine as a visual way to bookmark one’s favorite websites. Because I just like to look at the pictures. I’ve since heard it described as virtual hoarding. Whatever it is, it is popular, particularly among women. It was completely underestimated by predominantly male tech industry, quickly becoming the third most popular social media platform. And it makes me crazy.
I love it. And I hate it. I am both ambivalent and conflicted about it.
This is my brain on Pinterest:
I find the following WAY overdone:
red velvet anything
Things of which I am tired and so over long before they even got started:
any upcoming holiday
The snarky side of me desperately wants to create a “This is NOT cute” board, a “This is NOT true” board and also an “In what universe is this a GOOD idea?” board. But I don’t want to encourage any more nonsense by repinning terribly bad pins.
If it’s just a photo of pretty food or it is an actual recipe whose staple ingredient is a cake mix or a can of cream of something soup, I’m not interested.
Note to my daughter: No amount of my ingredients for Carina’s fabulous coconut cream pie will ever make your hair grow faster. (So please quit using them for hair treatments so we can save them for pie.)
Ryan Gosling is not going to Hey Girl any one of us, and that’s really OK.
Condescending Wonka amuses me. Apparently being amused by Condescending Wonka is controversial, which amuses me even more.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, especially when it comes to upcycling plastic grocery bags or crafting with used toilet paper rolls.
You should, however, totally check out my kilt board.
And pallets, who knew?
On the serious side, as I said, I find Pinterest conflicting. Aside from tole-painting like nobody’s business during the late 80s and the occasional quilt, I am the anti-craft. And yet even I have my own crafts board. I also have a workout board (18 pins). And a dessert board (56 pins). All too often a random glance at “everything” displays an odd juxtaposition of quinoa-laced health-food and an almost sick (yet somehow appealing) decadence such as a recipe for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie n’ oreo fudge brownie bar (don’t forget to top it with ice cream and hot fudge sauce).
What is perplexing to me is what this says about us. What it says about what’s on our minds and what we want.
Why is my workout board so wimpy? In part because I take issue with so many of the images and messages I see on the fitness pins. While fabulous abs abound, a good number of the women (girls, really) are impossibly thin. Much of the exercise advice isn’t sound. And a lot of the messages are more demeaning than inspiring. As the mother of a teen who has Pinterest account, I’m concerned about the messages these pins send our girls. Not just about their own body images, but about our bodies in general. Interesting that so much in the name of being healthy is so, well, unhealthy.
Organizing or hoarding?
On a good day I’ll try a recipe or cleaning tip or two (word to the rise, not all of those are scientifically sound, either). One of these days I might make a new quilt.
On a bad day, as I look at the pictures and contemplate the underlying messages of so many posters, I am sometimes unsettled by a sense of not enoughness. Similar to that I occasionally feel when flipping through the glossy pages of some magazines. The prevailing message seems to be “Not only am I not enough, but neither is my house, my parenting (or cooking) skills, nor my linens.”
Moral of the story? Just like with everything else, it’s about balance. There is good. There is not-so-good. The wisdom is in knowing the difference. I’m still figuring it out. In the meantime, just like Facebook once saved my turtle (prior post), Pinterest has already saved my favorite sauce pan, ruined my newly refinished dining room table, and taught my 16yo how to make something new (homemade calzone) for dinner one night.
What is your brain like on Pinterest? Tried any good recipes lately? Learned the hard way not to believe everything you see?