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June 25, 2012

I must admit, when it comes to things that are popular, I usually have a default aversion to them.  Sometimes I come around (Hunger Games, Instagram, Groupon, iPhone, Five Guys).  Usually I do not (Ugg boots, superhero movies, 50 Shades of Grey, the plethora of boys’ names that rhyme with Aidan, Pink Berry, stand-up paddleboarding).  The most recent thing I eschew is Pinterest.  Here is why.

I Love Charts on Tumblr

First, I think for some people, myself included, it fuels an unhealthy desire for things.  It’s the modern day equivalent of cutting out outfits and living rooms from magazines and lusting after them.  Our society is already far too consumer-driven.  Another outlet for obsessing over things we want to obtain is not what most of us need.  When we got married, my husband and I decided not to get cable.  Plus, since we live in an area where we cannot get network reception, we don’t watch television.  We have Netflix and Hulu, but that’s all.  I’ve found that not being bombarded with commercials is so much more peaceful.  I don’t have anyone telling me what I want or tricking me into believing my life would be better with something I can buy.  I also immediately throw away catalogs when they come in the mail.  A lot of what I see on Pinterest is this aspirational collecting of wish-list items and I think that breeds discontent with what we already have, what God has provided.   So, for the same reason I don’t watch TV or buy fashion magazines, I do not pin.

Second, the recipes.  Now, this may not be true for all Pinterest recipes but the majority of those that I saw when I was browsing to get an idea of what it’s all about were overwhelmingly in the following category:  foods you can assemble from other processed foods.  This, to me, is not cooking.  The recipes you get on the back of Corn Flakes and cream cheese boxes are not cooking either.  Making dinner is not adding a box of this to a can of that and baking for 30 minutes.  At least, not in my house.  I know some people find it immensely clever (including my in-laws) to use refrigerated biscuits, boxes of pudding mix, and condensed soups as ingredients, but I find it kind of gross.

Third, craft overload.  I’m a fairly creative person but not at all crafty.  I sew a little.  I write.  I love the theater.  I enjoy creating things with my hands.  But when it comes to decoupage and feathers and glitter, you can count me out.  A lot of the crafts I see on Pinterest are just plain tacky.  And others are totally unnecessary.  If it makes you happy to cover things with fabric, I’m not judging you.  I just think people should think back to the ridiculous crafts of our childhood (remember those frilly photo albums our grandmas all had?  Or the long fabric snakes filled with beans to prevent drafts under the door?  Toaster cozies? Macramed owls hanging from the patio cover?).  That’s what a lot of Pinterest crafts will look like in the future:  silly and old-fashioned.  Besides, how often does your version look as good as the sample?  (Same goes for the artistic baked items)  It all just reminds me of David Sedaris remarking on the absurdity of old ladies at a French county fair for selling bricks painted to look like school buses.   An Easter wreath made with marshmallow peeps and a glue gun?  No thank you.


Fourth, uniformity.  Everyone’s taking the same pictures with moustaches on sticks.  Everyone’s baby girl has what appears to be a giant lavender crocheted cabbage on her head in her newborn pictures.  Cupcakes were all the rage, now it’s cake pops.  A bridal shower isn’t a bridal shower without custom water bottle labels.  It’s become so that you can tell at a party when the host is a Pinterest fanatic, the same way you can tell a bride went crazy on Etsy.  It all becomes kinda same-y in kind of an uncharming way.   As another blogger put it, “It discourages creativity and encourages copying.”

Fifth, piracy.  A lot of the content is proprietary and has been essentially stolen.  Artwork, photographs, designs, etc are all taken from people’s websites and thrown around the internet without regard to copyrights.  It helps sell products, so in most cases, it’s not going to cause lawsuits, but it’s just another example of the internet out of control.

Lastly, I manage the social media for my company.  First it was MySpace.  Then Facebook, then Twitter, then YouTube, then Google+ and now Pinterest.  Corporations feel the need to jump on the next big social bandwagon, and that means more work for me.  That means another account to create and another thing to log into every day (times six locations, all of which I’m responsible for).  I have social media fatigue.  Big time.  All of these things which are meant to be fun and diverting end up being profit-driven in a matter of weeks.  Companies like mine start to wonder how this new thing the kids like can make them money.  I come to work in the morning to find articles about “Ten Commandments for Using Pinterest for Your Business” printed out and highlighted sitting on my desk.  Coming up:  sponsored pins?  Web banners displaying in your browser based on things you’ve pinned? You betcha!

Believe it or not, I could go on.  I won’t, because I already sound shrewy.  I’ll just sit back and accept the backlash my backlash will surely create.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. julia christine stephen permalink
    June 25, 2012 10:00 pm

    too funny I only just found out about pinterest…how lame am I…apparently lesbians don’t go their to plan their weddings, lol 🙂

  2. Tiffany permalink
    June 25, 2012 10:51 pm

    I can barely keep up with Facebook and my own over-active imagination regarding crafts that end up being ridiculously expensive and impossible to find time to get done… Pinterest? I haven’t bothered to get addicted to that one. 😉

    • June 25, 2012 10:54 pm

      Exactly! If I had a seventh point here, it would’ve been about what a time-suck things like Pinterest are. You log in and next thing you know it’s three hours later. There are many better uses of our time. People forget that time, like finances and other tools, is something we need to be a steward of. =) So true about the expense of crafts too. It’s always a lot more than you bargain for when you get to the cash register.

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