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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13 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post. I've been getting slightly more into Pinterest lately - I even took the plunge and added the "Pin It" button to my bookmarks bar. I DEFINITELY relate to your comment on the Kate Moss stuff - the other day it felt like everyone I follow was pinning weight loss tips and exercising routines and "inspirational" pictures of models and just, really? I would have unfollowed a bunch of them if we weren't related, haha. But for real, Pinterest (and just the internet in general) is supposed to be fun! The best part about being able to CHOOSE what you look at online is NOT having to look at things that make you feel inadequate. At least, that's always been my philosophy!

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  2. Of all the Pinterest related stuff that has infiltrated my google reader, your post seems to have hit home the most with me. I have had a board for about six months or so, but I find if all very overwhelming. The concept itself is easy, but all the stuff....yeah. It overwhelms me. Thanks for making it a bit more appealing to me. :)

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  3. I appreciate your interest thoughts! I would like to proudly say that I have cooked about half of the recipes I have pinned. And unsurprisingly, about half of those turned out horrible, as anyone can put anything on the internet. But there have been a couple winners! My mother commented (and aptly so) that because we all share the same ideas on pinterest, no one's weddings will be original anymore. Thanks mom.

    But still, I pin. And I pin some more. I mean, I might someday need the entire collage I have created of children dressed as animals or food. Rights?
    ~Hannah

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    1. Oh, so much of this resonates with me!

      Just the other day I was going into great detail about what I was thinking of carrying for a bouquet and the person interrupted me and said, "You got that from Pinterest, didn't you?" To which I sheepishly confessed it was true. BUT STILL. It was a VARIATION of something I saw on Pinterest that I made my own. That counts...right? Mothers are so great for reality checks.

      CHILDREN DRESSED AS ANIMALS. YOU UNDERSTAND ME.

      Like the baby dressed as a lobster inside the big pot? I never get tired of it.

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  4. I finally got onto Pinterest after our desktop killed itself and lost all my bookmarks- so for the very reason you stated! Two things of Pinterest etiquette you left out: 1. Always check before a re-pin, to be sure it actually links to the source and not to google images or some crap like that. 2. Change the note at the bottom if it's personal! I don't know how many times I've seen the same (obviously subjective to the original pinner) note on a pin repeated multiple times!
    I think Pinterest is great- and I've made several recipes from mine. Now I think I"ll go stalk yours for a while- it's like getting to see someone's cork board above their desk and the inside of their locker door all from the comfort of my own couch!

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    1. Bahhh, I knew I would forget something.

      You're SO right. It makes me crazy when you go to click on it and it says uploaded from Google. Lately I've been seeing that more with the iPhone app, too. (That one's a kink I am sure they'll work out eventually), but it's super annoying.

      Yes! The captions that make no sense because no one bothered to change it! Oy.

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  5. I like to pinterest inspirational quotes, cute animals, DIY projects, and inspiration for clothing. It's easy to get lost in all the pins, but it's always fun! I get inspired by many of the DIY things and change them a bit to my taste.

    Thanks for the post!! have a great sunday!!

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    1. So true! Love making it a bit different and making it work for you.

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  6. I'm addicted to it - bad! I'm guilty of having too many DIY pins, but my excuse is that I can't make most of them in our apartment due to space and landlord rules.
    And the Kate Moss thing is definitely beginning to wear me down. I'm all about getting inspiration, motivation and new tricks, but after a while seeing picture after picture of that stuff begins to wear down on ya.
    I do have to say that for planning a wedding it has been an amazing resource - although you have to know when to draw the line! It's been hard not to get carried away and want to do too much!

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    1. I think as far as wedding planning goes, it's both a blessing and a curse. There's eight million things I'd LOVE to do, but those don't necessarily go together and who has the money or the time?

      Not I.

      And I think a lot of my DIY's are like you said - kind of saving for future projects that I can't do right now, but would love to come back to.

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    2. And I think I want to start a petition to banish that stupid Kate Moss quote ...hahaha

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    3. Let me know when you start the petition...I definitely will sign it! haha!

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  7. I've been pinning since 2010 (and I am saying that in an annoying elitist hipster way... kidding... kinda... haha). I just wish no one else would have found out about it because then I would have had the most B.A. wedding EVERRRRRR. All my guests would have been like WHAAAAAT!? She's SO CREATIVE!!!

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