Lately it seems that there are a lot of people who talk about Pinterest as though it’s out to get them. I’ve seen bloggers complain, I’ve talked to other moms who are frustrated, and I’ve read numerous thoughts shared on Facebook. And it’s all about how terrible a website makes them feel about themselves. Really?
Pinterest is a tool for collecting and
organizing things you love.
That’s the answer to the question, “What is Pinterest?” It’s right on their website. The idea is to gather things we see on the internet in one convenient place because there is no way we could ever bookmark it all. You see an outfit you love at LOFT? Pin it so you can be inspired later. Found a great recipe for cinnamon buns? Put it on your Yummers board. Discover a fun activity to do with your kids on a rainy day? Stick a pin in it for when those dark clouds start rolling in.
Unfortunately, while many people laugh about their Pinterest addictions, they also walk away from it feeling worse than they did when they started. I only know this because so many of them have openly shared the same opinion of the site: it makes them feel bad about themselves. These people – some of whom are women that I love and respect and even look up to – feel like they can’t “keep up.” They feel like less of a mother because they are buying store-bought Play-Doh instead of making it at home. They feel like less of a cook because they haven’t created a well-rounded organic freeze-able menu for their families every month. They feel like less of a homemaker because every shelf isn’t labeled and lined with beautiful scented paisley wallpaper. They feel like less of a woman because they don’t have the glossy rear-end of ladies who obviously do much much more than the tiny little 5-minute workouts their pictures are attached to.
When (and why) did Pinterest become a way to degrade ourselves? To put ourselves down? To make ourselves feel like “less” of anything?
I personally love Pinterest. I see so many things that look like fun, so many things that look yummy, so many things that inspire me. I know I’m never going to be able to do half of the things I pin. And there are times that knowing it makes me wonder why I’m even pinning it in the first place. But the truth is, the things I pin inspire me. They move me. They motivate me. Of course I would looooooove a fancy walk-in closet with a crystal chandelier. Of course I’d be thrilled to travel to some pristine exotic beach where sea turtles float by and kiss my toes. Of course I’d enjoy looking half as coordinated as the outfits I pin. Shoot, I’d settle for looking almost half as good.
One of my favorite quotes is credited to Eleanor Roosevelt – No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. This includes strangers on a website. I love Pinterest. I love being inspired and moved and motivated by the amazing things that are out there. No one is going to pop my Pinterest bubble!