How Pinteresting!

3.25.2012

Over a year ago, in the midst of a blog binge, I requested an invite to a new virtual pinboard of sorts.

Not very many people had heard of it yet. I am not saying that in an annoying elitist hipster way, but to highlight the fact that I had an account, and empty pinboards for several months. I continually came back to it thinking, "What the heck is this, and what do I do with it?"

Slowly but surely, things started making sense.

Maybe there are five people left in the world that don't know about it yet.

  • It (pretty much) eliminates the need for bookmarking pages on your browser. Your recipes, your activities for your toddlers, your wedding plans. Organized for you and linked to its original source/website (that's the hope, anyway).
  • An endless source of inspiration! I find myself vacillating between the excitement of having so much creativity at my fingertips and the accompanying fear that we'll soon be too lazy to strive for original thoughts.
  • Collaboration. My best friend is getting married in a couple of months. In the midst of her planning and our geographical disconnect, I have a glimpse of her planning process. We also created a group board where we can pin ideas we find for affordable bridesmaid dresses in her desired color scheme.
  • Businesses can use it to expand their brand and appeal to their audience and demographic in a new dimension.

There are ways to make the most out of the Pinterest experience. 

  • I only follow a handful of people I actually know. That's just my preference. I am able to find things more to my specific taste, and avoid redundancy in the feed! It also allows me to share more original pins with my friends since we probably share a lot of mutual friends pinning things from each other.
  • Download the pinmarklet. Oh MAN! It changes everything. The 'everything' category has quickly become a smorgasbord of tacky prom dresses. The pinmarklet allows you to create new pins.
  • The creators of Pinterest made it to be a place of sharing lovely things. Don't leave rude or hateful comments. Be constructive. Be encouraging. Be realistic. Repin what goes well with the aesthetic you've created and what fits your taste. 'Like' pins that you find might be useful in the future, but don't necessarily want displayed on your boards.
Most importantly:
  • Step away from the computer, and do what you pin! I am often guilty of this. Focus on what you're using it for. Are you creating the things you're pinning to your DIY board? Are you cooking those recipes? Are you putting together those inspiration outfits? It's easy for it to turn into a tool that creates discontentment and unrealistic expectations of what life is really like. 
  • Be smart. Are the photos of photoshopped athletic and thin bodies actually motivating you to work out and challenge yourself? Or is it just encouraging thoughts that are unhealthy and hurtful? Because OH MY GOSH, if I see one more Kate Moss quote about how good it feels to be skinny, I'm going to pretend to do something violent. I'd venture to guess that most of us don't have a body that looks like that. Most of us probably won't have rainforest shower heads in bathrooms the size of an apartment. I'd love for my future children to have little secret hidden playrooms built underneath their canopy bunk beds, but SORRY KIDS - I DON'T MAKE THAT MUCH MONEY. SHOOOOT. 
Let's keep it real! If mason jars filled with oats as Christmas gifts are all we can afford, then we're going to give the best freaking oatmeal cookie mix EVER CREATED.

What about you? How do you Pinterest?

Here are mine!

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