First let me start by saying that Pinterest is awesome. Pinterest can answer any question ranging from what to get your coworkers for the holidays to how to salvage a onesie after your infant has a particularly memorable blowout.
I’ve heard Facebook described as a “highlight reel” and read cautionary tales about the dangerous practice of comparing your typical day to your neighbor’s glowing family vacation photos. If Facebook is the guy down the street’s highlight reel, Pinterest is the perfect people’s highlight reel where perfect props meet up with perfect photography to breed perfect pinspiration.
As I launch a new blog centered around crafting imperfectly, I am developing a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Below are six of the ways Pinterest simultaneously provides me with a bottomless well of inspiration and makes me feel like I can’t keep up.
1. Seasonal Overload
If you visit Pinterest this time of year you may feel like you’re drinking pumpkin spiced lattes out of a fire hose. Pinterest goes bananas for the fall with fall outfits, seasonal home decor, ideas for Thanksgiving and Halloween and an unimaginable inventory of things you can cook and make with pumpkins that rivals the unbelievable number of leaves I still need to rake.
In my life fall means busting out the crockpot here and there, buying one pumpkin to put on our front doorstep (which we usually don’t bother to carve), going apple picking and eating as many apple cider donuts as I can get my hands on. It also means taking my coats to the dry cleaner and my boots to the boot repair place. It does not mean buying a whole new wardrobe and rearranging all the food and decorations in my house to better represent the season.
2. The Realization that Every Brilliant Idea Has Been Done Before (and Usually Done Better)
I have a nine-month-old son who just started crawling and as he makes his way through the house he serves as a Swiffer collecting dirt and dog hair as he goes. This led me to the realization that we could actually put a Swiffer dry mop on him. That thought was followed almost immediately by the idea that he’d also make a great Zamboni. Then came the “aha!” moment that Halloween is coming up and a Zamboni costume for a baby would be hysterical. Right away I got on Pinterest to see if someone beat me to it and was immediately flooded with pages of kids Zamboni costumes.
3. The “Maybe Some Day” Pins
More often than I care to admit, I find myself pinning things that are not the least bit relevant to my life today – just in case they become relevant at some point in the future. The perfect example of this is the single girl’s wedding board. Pinterest even offers a “secret board” option so there’s no chance it gets back to the guy you’ve been on three mediocre dates with that you’re pinning guestbook alternatives and table centerpieces.
Lately craft room organization ideas always seem to dominate my Pinterest feed. I find myself excitedly scrolling through cost-effective and innovative ideas to store and organize craft supplies before it dawns on me that I’m missing a craft room, a varied collection of crafting tools and basic organizational skills.
Instead I have a dining room table which currently looks like I put all my craft supplies in a blender with the lid off. Who are these people who have spacious well-organized craft rooms? Oh right, the perfect Pinterest people.
4. The “Drive Traffic to My Blog” Frenzy
As I dip my toe into the world of blogging I’m learning a lot about what it takes to gain traction on Pinterest. I can see which of my pins are being repinned and what demographic is repinning them. If you search “blogging” on Pinterest you will find pins linking to about a thousand interchangeable sponsored posts with titles like “five must-know Pinterest strategies I used to make $12,000 in my third month of blogging”.
The gist of it is that in order to get a pin to go viral you have to pin it many times with a variety of photos and captions to many different boards including some massive group boards (which you first need to be personally invited to). You also need clickbait titles and well-curated photos. Most bloggers that use Pinterest purchase tools like Tailwind to schedule their pins ahead of time and give the illusion that they are on Pinterest 24/7.
Against my better judgement I find myself falling into this trap. For example, I would have named this post “Why Pinterest Gives Me the Best Ideas and the Worst Anxiety” but my Pinterest Analytics page has already taught me that “listicles” (articles in the form of a numbered list) get more traction.
5. The incredibly cool but totally impractical designs
I’ve found that a baby and a 90 pound dog drive a lot of my home décor. Light colored rugs and couches are out. Low shelves are out. Beautiful hardwood floors are out. Floor plants are out. Keeping the house clean and organized is out.
If Pinterest has taught me anything it’s that the rest of the world doesn’t subscribe to the same rules I do when it comes to designing and decorating a home that people can actually live in. The most absurd pin I’ve come across lately is what appears to be a shower with glass walls up a staircase in the middle of a bedroom. I have so many questions for whoever designed that striking but ridiculous layout. Not the least of which is what kind of person would want to shower on a stage? Surely even the perfect Pinterest people who have succeeded in pinning a precise combination of workouts, motivational quotes and healthy recipes might still feel uncomfortable as a bathing human centerpiece.
Similarly, I recently pinned this climbing wall over the bed in a kids bedroom. This might be the coolest idea I’ve ever seen and yet it is highly unlikely that I will be replicating it in my own home.
6. The Pinterest fail
I can think of dozens of instances when I’ve seen something on Pinterest and thought “I could do that” only to find out that the project I’m trying to replicate was executed by a trained artist with unlimited free time and expensive equipment that I don’t have. More often than not the end result is a swing and a miss. Pinterest Fails are so common they actually have their own website. My goal is to combat the Pinterest fail by selecting crafts that anyone can replicate and sharing some of my own lessons learned and spectacular failures as I go.
Is Pinterest adding stress to your life? I would love to hear from others about their experience using Pinterest to collect ideas or grow their blog.
My Shameless Plug
Click here to visit me on Pinterest and follow my page! As of today I have three followers and one of them is my personal account. Arguably more embarrassing is that one is my mom whose account I logged into so I could add myself for her in order to look less like a spammer.
You’re also invited to join my Baby Community Board and share baby-related ideas. If you’re interested feel free to message me on Pinterest or email me at CrudeCreativityBlog@gmail.com to request an invite.