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.
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Pinterest, Are You Drunk?
- WTF Pinterest Commenters
- I heart (and hate) Pinterest
- Pinterest Puts Me in a Bad Mood
- Best and Worst Things About Pinterest
- My Love/Hate Pinterest Relationship
- I Can’t Quit You, Pinterest
- The Three Most Annoying Things About Pinterest
- I Hate Pinterest
- The Dreaded 502
“Thinspiration” image credit to Flickr user lulemon athletica
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