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Why Pinterest Makes Me Want to Cry (Sometimes)

Let me start by saying I do NOT hate Pinterest. I’m a user and I will continue to be a user. Pinterest does a lot of good: inspires a lot of people and can promote creativity. But sometimes Pinterest makes me want to cry. Here’s why.

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When Pinterest started early last year, I got an invitation in my e-mail box. I believe it was from of my readers. I’ve always been a late technology adapter, but for whatever reason I signed up (I might have just had ice cream and was in a good place). I started adding people to my account before I really knew what it was – this is typically my default action when I’m confused. As if adding friends will make the lightbulb go off, and I will suddenly KNOW. Yeah, that didn’t happen. After I was done adding friends, I left it for awhile. I wasn’t sure what to do next.

When Pinterest started becoming relatively popular, I finally decided to log in and check it out. WOW! So much – stuff. The visual feast of eye candy was . . . a visual feast. I think in my first “real” session with Pinterest, I spent several hours just looking. This was followed by MANY sessions of scrolling, sorting and pinning. Picture the earth spinning around me, the sun rising and setting – and I’m still on Pinterest. I built my boards, and my boards were colorful and good. Then one day, the thought crept in.

I hate Pinterest.

Oh! I put my hand over my mouth as though I had said it out loud. Did I just think that? I couldn’t have just thought that. I’m on here for hours, I said to myself; this is my new life. How can I hate Pinterest? I need to take a break and think about this! So I did. I set up an electric shock machine to ding me every time I went to the site. Not really – I just stayed off of it completely for about a week. And then I realized: I don’t hate Pinterest.

But there are some things that really bother me about it.

I wanted to share what those things are and see if they bother you, too. Then I will tell you how I came to terms with Pinterest (and about our current relationship). So without further adieu, here are the things about Pinterest that make me want to cry.

        1. About half the time, it doesn’t work. Sometimes I can’t create boards, sometimes I can’t pin. Most of the time I can’t follow boards. But this isn’t even the worst. The worst is the dreaded “502” error that occurs with most of my searches. I have spent hours pressing the back button, saying to myself “this time it’s going to work” and then it doesn’t. Um, if I can’t find a rainbow striped sock monkey to pin in about five seconds, I’m dumping this entire computer table over! Pinterest, why hast thou forsaken me?
        2. I get completely overwhelmed. Have you gone into Pinterest frozen mode yet? Because I have. There are so many images in so many different categories: home decor, recipes, crafts. . . . I start scrolling down the screen and then without warning, I suddenly lock down – staring at the screen with my mouth hanging slightly open. I have double-chin issues when my mouth is slightly open, so this sight is not pretty. It’s happened a few times. I’m serious. I’ll take a picture.
        3. My creative juices stop flowing. Either someone’s already done it, or they’ve done it better than me. Or #2 has made it so that my brain doesn’t work, so I can’t think of anything new. Colors and textures become meaningless – nothing can be as pretty as what I’ve seen on everyone’s boards. Then I take a look at my own stash, and it looks really boring. The ultimate result? Being on Pinterest = not making anything. Which is completely against the reason that I started using it in the first place.
        4. I see a lot of stuff I can’t have. I know this one sounds bratty, but typically I don’t see so many things that I want and can’t have on one page. It’s very different than looking into a store window and thinking, “I like that sweater, but it’s too expensive.” I’m an adult; I can deal with that. But everyone has a breaking point, and there are only so many pairs of $400 shoes that I can watch pass by my eyes before I get a little sad. I think to myself, “I would be better if I had those silver star mary janes with glitter heels.” I also look at a lot of rooms that I’m never going to have in my future home, or clothing that my future children will never be able to wear because I will never be able to afford these things. I’m just a human. Sometimes the feelings of inadequacy slip in without warning.
        5. One word: thinspiration. Your abs might look like the surface of the moon, but mine do not. And each day there are an increasing number of boards featuring rock hard stomachs or butts. I like sugar too much, plus I work on a computer – it ain’t gonna happen. I also happen to know a lot of rock hard people. They are not on Pinterest at all, because they are in the gym 24/7. I’m not saying other people shouldn’t aspire to that, I’m simply saying that SO many of the pictures are dedicated to ripped-ness that it’s cloggin’ my stream.
        6. Some pins lead me nowhere. Occasionally I want to know where a project came from, particularly in the DIY/Craft category. Sometimes trying to find a source is a complete fail. Let me share an example. I see a particular sewing technique that I’m interested in (probably having to do with stripes or polka dots) and then I press the source link button. It goes to another pin in Pinterest (you can put a link to another pin when you pin something). I press it again. Another pin. I start to get frustrated and then angry that I’m in a Pinterest death spiral. There are many articles on Pinterest etiquette, but let’s face it – no one cares. They pin whatever is easiest.

 

So there you go. I realize that not everyone is like me. Some of you may have had none of these issues and/or are better able to manage your time. Some of you are even MORE creative now that Pinterest is around. But me? Well, I’ve been spending a lot less time on there these days. I give it about 15 minutes a day, at the max. I pin, I repin and I unfollow boards that don’t work for me. I don’t let myself feel inadequate, and if someone did “it” better than me – oh well. And as a result, Pinterest and I are much better friends these days.

Now it’s your turn. Are you an addict? Do you love everything about Pinterest – or is there anything you don’t like? Are you more or less creative now that Pinterest is around?

If you want to visit some tongue-in-cheek sites or read some interesting Pinterest articles, check out the following:

 

“Thinspiration” image credit to Flickr user lulemon athletica
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