I finally caved, gave in, succumb to the beckoning of a world I have been strategically avoiding, Curse you Pinterest!
Pinterest is a good idea at it’s core. It’s just a place to organize things that you have found online, a virtual filing cabinet. A place where you can collect all the best recipes, crafts, beauty tips and other various things from different sources around the web. Instead of having to bookmark or remember or print all the little things you may want to access again in the future, you just pin it on your pinterest board and then it is all there in one convenient spot, waiting for you. Really the possibilities of what you can pin are endless. So I’m sure you will agree that really isn’t something that one would find a need to avoid, yet avoid it I have.
Pinterest was something I viewed as a place that would provide the ideal conditions to encourage and enlarge a few different mindsets that I don’t want to embrace or encourage in myself or anyone else. Pinterest = Pitre dish
A Pitre for what?
Firstly I viewed it as a place that would multiply the hunger for more, bigger, better, more, more, more. A place that you can go and always find something else to want, or “need”, or “deserve”. Yes, this is not what it is intended for but after joining I can see my suspicions are correct. Today I saw this shirt posted with a quote from the pinner saying, “Have this shirt in a light yellow and get tons of compliments, just need this one now!!”
I would argue that no one “needs” a shirt that makes it look like a giant moth has attempted and failed miserably to camouflage itself on your back, never mind two of them, but if that is what you want then go for it.
I often find myself cringing in day to day life when I see and hear the way we use and misuse the word need, how we use the word want like it’s a badge of honor and how an attitude of entitlement and excess is encouraged far too often. I don’t think it is wrong to want things but I do think that we can lose perspective easily when we have an endless catalog of other people’s “wants” to view at our fingertips.
The second concern I had was that it would encourage the unhealthy culture of comparison that has only flourished since the invention of social media. You no longer have to look over the fence to compare or gossip at the local mom group, now you can go on line and see all these awesome things that someone has done or is planning on doing, buying or planning on buying, wanting or needing and fall into the trap of feeling inadequate. I am convinced that this happens when people are on Pinterest. It is always important to remember when we are viewing any social media that we are only getting a small controlled view of someones life and that it isn’t fair to anyone to compare ourselves, especially when we are usually comparing what we know as our worst with someone’s best.
So unfortunately I have found that Pinterest has lived up to my expectations however it hasn’t all been bad. Recently I made a cake for my son. I was looking at different cakes on Pinterest to help me get ideas and was refreshed to find that some people don’t just post the most wonderful awe inspiring results. Sometimes people post the most dismal of failures to share with all the world. After seeing some of the results like this, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/527343437589454208/, I didn’t feel too bad when mine turned out like this
So Pinterest was and is what I thought it was but I have found Pinterest can be a lot of things;
-It is a place where people share jokes, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/112167846943557119/
-You can find ways to get fit, http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=excercise
– And things to help you be not so fit,http://www.pinterest.com/pin/14496030024502418/
– It can also be the modern day lingerie section of the Sears catalog for young boys (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about and no I am not providing a link for that one).
-You can find a million things to do with mason jars and find out that you can put glitter and jewels on anything.
-There are great activities to do with your kids if you don’t spend all your free time on Pinterest.
-You can pin pictures of clothes that you like. I haven’t really figured that one out. Maybe just in case you get amnesia and go to a store and can’t remember what kind of clothes you like you can check your Pinterest board. Or maybe it is just in case someone wants to dress as you for Halloween. They can go to your Pinterest board to see what style of clothes you like. ?
Heck sometimes I just like to see things that people post and write and make fun of it in my mind, like this one, ” Female roles are just a social construct, including having babies”, Me I’m like, “What? you mean to say that all this time men have been hiding the fact that they have a uterus? Lets get those no gooders. I can sit on them and squish them with all this baby weight they could have put on if they hadn’t so convincingly hid their ability to produce eggs. ”
Anyway, just like anything, Pinterest can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you use it. My favorite use so far has been for inspiration for face painting http://www.pinterest.com/pin/316940892498478802/. There are some amazingly talented people out there and I’m glad they are willing to share.