I'm fascinated by the phenomenon that is Pinterest. The popularity of this visually oriented social networking site has exploded in the past year and many of its most dedicated users, typically twenty something and thirty something women, have a love/hate relationship with it. Well, whenever an inanimate object stirs up such a strong and widespread emotional response, my curiosity goes into hyperdrive.
|Interesting tidbit about the Pinterest logotype|
Allow me to provide a quick summary of the debate. On the plus side, most Pinterest users agree that the never-ending flow of rich, beautiful images on a wide variety of subjects is very appealing, as are the intuitive features that allow you to capture, sort and catalog your favorite images. And once you get the hang of it, most users report a heady feeling of satisfaction that comes from the process of pinning as well as the end result of neatly organized boards.
And that's where the complaints start to flow; they can be boiled down to three main points.
First, there is a widespread notion that Pinterest is an 'addiction,' that its faithful users are 'Pinterest junkies,' and that we are all wasting way too much time over this nonsense. Instead of staying up half the night and falling asleep in our cereal bowls the next day, we ought to be finding better things to do with our time.
|a & b creative|
Another common perception is that by surrounding ourselves with images of unattainable perfection, we are subconsciously training ourselves to be dissatisfied with our own lives. Filling our boards and brains with images of perfect homes, perfect abs, perfect cutesy outfits, perfect snacks for our kids, perfect travel destinations, perfect chore charts, and perfect crocheted beard hats for our babies, Pinterest is telling us that whatever we are doing is clearly not good enough.
|Why yes, I do carry a giant clutch when I run errands. |
I also stand by vintage cars that coordinate with my outfit and have impossibly thin and perfectly tanned thighs. Don't you?
more fashion inspiration
|I just want a simple country wedding in a barn. |
With thirty foot high cathedral ceilings.
And charming wooden chairs.
And at least a billion twinkle lights.
But nothing fancy.
Eat, Drink and Be Married
Thirdly and most specifically, some users report that a heavy diet of pinning can actually cause a person to become less inspired to live her own life. Pictures of insanely fit women just make us give up on our own fitness regimes and drive us back to our Snickers bars, shots of meticulously organized closets break down our resolve to sort out our own messes, and countless pins of fabulous art journals paralyze our artistic urges to create.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest? What do you love about it and what do you hate?