Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Why We Pin: A Culture of Online Clutter

You would probably have to be living under a rock in a remote area to have not heard about Pinterest these days. Everyone and their mom is pinning recipes, crafty ideas, blogs, wedding plans, funny pictures, and inspirational messages. For some, Pinterest is a place to dream and plan for a future; for others, it’s a place of self-expression or a place to gain ideas for parties, parenting and daily life.

I, too, will admit that I’m a pinaholic. Whether it’s a real term or a made up one, I own it. I pin too often, and I usually pin things I will never try.

I grew up as a tomboy and transitioned into a career-minded woman focused on enjoying my twenties, somehow missing that period in between where I’m told a girl cultivates her maternal instincts, has a desire to learn how to sew and finds her crafty nature. I never found those instincts, and I’m not crafty in the least. When I’m forced against my will into a game of Pictionary, I draw stick figures, and my only attempts at arts and crafts ended when I was in Elementary School.

Nonetheless, I have boards dedicated to crafts, and I convince myself before I repin each one that maybe looking at how awesome the idea is will convince me to make my own pillow cases or have homemade Christmas decorations. Maybe, by pinning these things, I’ll suddenly morph into a superhero version of the domestic woman and redecorate my entire house.

Has it happened? No, and I’ve been on Pinterest for well over a year.

So, why do I have these boards, along with a huge board of recipes—all except for two which have gone untested?

In part, I think it has to do with control. In this ever changing world, we need to have control over some aspects of our life—even if it is a virtual pin board that has no significance to anyone but the individual creating the board. So, if in my delusional online world, I want to fool myself to think that I’m going to turn into a super cook with super crafty fun, I can.

Polka dot cupcakes, pour in main color of batter half way and then pipe in second color of batter in small drops. I love this!!!

I've never made these...
@Cassandra Jones let's try this :) Grilled Portobella Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Wrap
Or these....
Pancakes made in muffin/cupcake tins. Only fill the tin 1/2 full and it will create the crater when it bakes
Or these....or really any of the other recipes on my board.

If single girls want to plan their future wedding, they can. If people want to appear more inspired, funnier, or smarter than they may actually be, they have that choice. It’s not about appearance to others, though, I don’t think. I believe that it is more about how we perceive ourselves, and I think that it’s a healthy outlet for that.

For me, it’s also probably because I like to believe that one day I will want to do all of these awesome things. However, the truth is that I just don’t want to do most of them. I don’t want to make my own laundry soap. They have some on sale at Target. And, honestly, who has the time to make their own laundry soap? Yet, that deterrent did not stop me from pinning the neat idea; nor will it stop me from pinning other ridiculous ideas in the future.

Home made (cheap) laundry soap. Read the comments, very helpful. Optional: use Downy UNSTOPABLES™ In Wash Scent Booster for smell or lavender oil. Can use blender\food processor instead of grinding the soap, make sure to add the dry ingridients at the same time. Tip: Use the blue Dawn dish soap as a pre-treatment.   *Will need to check out the DIY for the fabric softner (ingredient: Vinegar). exists.....

The cycle will not end, because, let’s face the facts, we’re bored. We are a society with so much to do and so many opportunities every second. Still, we spend so much time on silly and slightly meaningless tasks.

Trust me, I’m not knocking the idea. I have spent many hours on Pinterest, and I probably will in the future. I have a phenomenal funny board that can make even the grouchiest person smile—if not laugh uncontrollably.

ha dog problems
From the funny board
I can't look at this without laughing
Also from the funny board..seriously, who can't laugh at that?
Other than the funny board, I’ve actually got some awesome ideas from Pinterest.

Aside from the crafty ideas that I’ll never try and the recipes that I like to think I’ll try, I have got ideas for a tasty alcoholic beverage or two, I have had a lot of laughs, and I’ve tried things that I would have never thought to try. I’ve smothered my hair in a “banana mask,” I’ve lengthened the life of a bottle of mascara by using saline solution, and I’ve put olive oil and vinegar on my face (gross, but effective). The fact of the matter is, for whatever reason we like to do it, we pin.

So, just keep pinning, and feel free to send bizarre pin ideas my way. I love to see the crazy things that people are putting out there.

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