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The Pinterest culture and being perfect


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I've decided that I really hate the whole Pinterest thing. To me, it just feels like subtle societal pressure to make everything cute and perfect and shiny and creative. It's not enough to organize your pantry, you must also cute-ify it with stencils and $300 of baskets. It's not enough to have some albums of photos, you need to make organized scrapbooks with embellishments and glitter! 

 

Gah! I love a clean, organized house, but I really do not like this new idea that it should also be decorated like a Home Goods store exploded in there.

 

Anyone else? Or, tell me why you love Pinterest and all the blogs with stenciled pantry walls, and explain the whole thing to me!

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Pinterest is a catalog of all sorts of stuff.  So if you look up organizing pantry ideas you are going to get all sorts of ideas including cutsey ones.  It doesn't mean you have to "buy into" everything on the catalog pages.  My dd looks up pictures of cute animals on Pinterest.  It doesn't mean that she's going to get any of them.   ;)

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I must miss all those pins. I mostly use mine as a virtual bulletin board and follow very few people. I keep track of recipes, homeschooling ideas, gift ideas for my family members, etc. Last year I even used it for our holiday gift lists. For me it's a tool to stay organized, but then again the things you mentioned, home goods and stenciled cutesy things (including most crafts) never appealed to me before Pinterest so it's not like I find them anymore so afterwards.

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I've been hearing this a lot lately, and I kind of feel the opposite.  Pinterest makes no bones about being "aspirational."  It's the mom-blogs where everything is apparently beautiful and perfect all the time that grates on me in terms of being expected to be perfect, because those blogs purport to portray "real life."  Pinterest is just a bulletin board to store ideas so you can scan them easily later.  

 

I admit that I mostly use it to organize my own stuff: I don't really use it as a social media thing.  But it's pretty easy to avoid scrolling through to see what your friends post, and if someone keeps posting cheesy stuff, you can just unfollow them.

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Pinterest is what you make of it.  I started using it when it was new but find I prefer using Evernote. 

 

The pressure you feel to cute-ify everything is coming from within you, not from Pinterest.  If a website made me feel pressured to do things I am otherwise not inclined to do, I would just stop looking at it.   :)

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I don't go to Pinterest - mainly because I don't have time, and I don't intuitively get it.  So I don't have an opinion on whether it creates pressure to make everything cute and perfect and shiny.  I do agree with momma2three that the mom blog culture does perpetuate that pressure. 

 

It's the mom-blogs where everything is apparently beautiful and perfect all the time that grates on me in terms of being expected to be perfect, because those blogs purport to portray "real life."  

 

 

 

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I think it depends on how you use it.  I teach Pre K, so I love going for ideas for our classroom.  I also like pinning tattoo ideas, DIY projects for jewelry, recipes, and quotes.  I think it is what you make of it.  No one's decorating skills or lack thereof has anything to do with how I perceive myself.  

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I use it as a visual bookmark. That way I can put all my sewing, schooling, cooking, gardening ideas in one place to peruse at leisure. Anytime I fine something on line that I want to remember, I pin it. I don't usually go looking for things on Pinterest. However I do repin some of my like minded friends pins because I think they are good ideas.

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I set up a board just to pin humor things to make Dh laugh. Some of them are inappropriate/R-rated jokes, so it's a secret board. But he really enjoys it, and I enjoy scanning through all the stuff to find the really good stuff.

 

I love the ideas that I have found on there and done, from recipes to the marshmallow shooters and pregnancy announcement. I decorated my tree with coffee filter snowflakes (the snowflakes were the pinterest idea, decorating the tree with them was mine) and it was cheap, easy, and looked awesome! I'm going to be decorating my front yard with cheap but fun things for Halloween from ideas that I've pinned. There is some awesome information in the Science category, and lots of awesome Doctor Who/David Tennant pictures and quotes in the Geek section.

 

Pinterest is what YOU make of it; it doesn't make you.

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For something like Facebook, I can see how people get annoyed with it because so much depends on other people.  I joke that the secret to loving Facebook is to have a tiny family whose views you mostly agree with... it seems like so much Facebook hate comes from the fact that so many people have to read really annoying/offensive/stupid things posted by their cousin and if they unfriend her it will cause a huge family deal.  Basically, there's no point to using Facebook unless you want to cede control of what you see to other people, and if that pool of people are problematic, you're going to have a crummy time.

 

But I think it's really easy to use Pinterest without having things you don't want to see pushed at you  You don't have to follow anyone, and I don't even know if there's a way to browse the site.  There is a search function, but I only use it when the result I want is a cutesy craft... for DD's Girl Scout troop, for example.  It's very easy to use the site totally on your own terms, just pinning what you want to (you can install a button on your web browser and then just click when you see something online that you want to pin) and never having to run into something you don't want to.

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For crafty people pinterest is probably just horrible! They'd want to do it all!!!

 

But for someone like me, I just snort at it all and consider how amazingly ugly it would all look if I tried it at home. I haven't got a crafty bone in my body. Remember all those years ago when we made Scarlet's quilt? I sent in a square. But before I did I laughed until tears streamed down my face. My square was probably the ugliest quilt square Ever made in the history of mankind. Poor, poor Scarlet, having that ugly square on her quilt.

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I already did Pinterest before pinterest. I used to right click and save pictures of things I liked/would like to do into folders. It cluttered up my computer and also there was no way to find my way back to where I found them. Our preschool co-op uses Pinterest extensively. I tell people I could never have homeschooled before the internet. So many people out there so much more creative than I am. 

 

But yeah, You pick something you're doing and then search on that. Pin things that inspire you or that you think would be practical for your life. I don't use it obsessively?  But I love it when we are re-doing a room or I am looking for kid activities or homemade Christmas gifts. It has never made me want to stencil my pantry or make elaborate Bento lunches. :)

 

Has anyone seen this? Warning, every pin has the F word on it. But it is a pinterest board making fun of pinterest. 

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Idk. I like Pinterest. I'm a very visual person, so pictures are great for me. And I like having things all organized and categorized.

 

I don't feel like I need to make my life perfect.

 

I guess it's no different than FB or message boards or tv or computer games or ???

 

Those things are to make your life better or easier or funner or ??

 

If they don't, change how you use those things or stop using them. *shrug*

 

FB friends not being friendly? Okay. Unfriend. Delete account. Whatever.

 

Pinning things you know you'll never actually do for whatever reason? Okay. Stop pinning that stuff. Search for what you do want to do in the near future and pin that stuff instead. Or delete account. Whatever.

 

Don't buy the hype. If its not working for you, ditch it. Or make it work for you.

 

:)

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I don't feel that pressure on Pinterest. I use it to get ideas of all kinds, and it's simple enough to unfollow boards that don't interest me or that annoy me. I follow through on more recipe, craft, and home improvement ideas with Pinterest than I ever did without it, as the ideas are organized and easy to locate again. My feed is also full of Sherlock, Doctor Who, and book-related pins. :)

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I think you're reading WAY too much into a Pinterest post. I don't know anyone who thinks Pinterest is the boss of her. Just because it's interesting doesn't mean YOU have to do it or have it. It would be easier to work on not wanting everything you see than it would be to make everything you see. I use Pinterest mainly as a giant recipe book. Like most recipe books, I'm doing great if I actually make half a dozen of the recipes.

 

Think of it as a Baskin Robins. There may be 31 flavors, but you can pick one, or none, and it's OK.

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I took forever to join, and even longer to "get" it...but now I love pinterest. I use it as an online planner, organizer, list. My boards are divided into subject, or season, to do and done. It keeps me organized and I rarely get overwhelmed. So for instance, I need to make a complete winter wardrobe for my son. Well now I have a board devoted to it and I've put the pins in order from Most important to least important. I knock out 1 pin a week and I'll be done in no time.

 

I'm not perfect, and don't plan to be. I do think the pins about 50 ways to tie a shoelace or whatever are ridiculous.

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LOL!!!

 

This and this are the two reasons I LOVE pinterest.  (They are my two boards that I pin to constantly.)

 

Crafty crap?  I may pin it here and there, but I'm honestly considering changing the name of that board to 'things I think are sort of cool but will never do IRL'.  :D  

I do also like it for hairstyle/color ideas (I like switching up colors every few months) and clothes.  

One cannot follow me and not see my uh... unique tastes in certain areas.  :D  This makes me like Pinterest more, actually - because I think it shows a side of me some people have NO idea about.  :lol:

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I set up a board just to pin humor things to make Dh laugh. Some of them are inappropriate/R-rated jokes, so it's a secret board. But he really enjoys it, and I enjoy scanning through all the stuff to find the really good stuff.

 

I love the ideas that I have found on there and done, from recipes to the marshmallow shooters and pregnancy announcement. I decorated my tree with coffee filter snowflakes (the snowflakes were the pinterest idea, decorating the tree with them was mine) and it was cheap, easy, and looked awesome! I'm going to be decorating my front yard with cheap but fun things for Halloween from ideas that I've pinned. There is some awesome information in the Science category, and lots of awesome Doctor Who/David Tennant pictures and quotes in the Geek section.

 

Pinterest is what YOU make of it; it doesn't make you.

 

My most pinned board is "things that make me laugh", I go through there frequently, LOL'ing.  I use it for food, too, I have a breakfast board and a low carb board that I use all the time.  My other boards are kind of dream boards, I wish I could do the things, but if I don't, I don't stress.  It is calming for me to pin, I love to look at beautiful things.

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Like Mrs Mungo I use Pinterest as a way to organize my bookmarks, things I don't want to lose. I even have some secret boards for gift ideas,

 

My pinterest has a lot of recipes, crafts, homeschool things, knitting/crochet stuff, sewing things and camping stuff. 

 

I don't think anyone would look at my pinterest and feel inferior. IMO there are many things that simply are what you make of it,

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I love using pinterest for ideas for parties and crafts. I am constantly amazed by the creativity some people demonstrate. I'm a good copier, but I don't have an original or creative bone in my body, so pinterest is the perfect place for me.

 

However, I can see where it would lead to some insecurities. Besides the crafts looking perfect, even the photography is amazing most of the time. It's definitely made me more of a perfectionist in my own crafting. I try harder to make things look more polished - like the things I see on pinterest.

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I don't do Pinterest.  1) I don't have time for more computer time, and 2) I suspect that for me, it would become an endless time sink of beautiful sewing projects--to the point that I would always be inspired but never actually accomplish any sewing.  Instead I'd be looking at pretty pictures of too many things I could sew.

 

My daughter uses it to geek out on Doctor Who.  :P

 

I do find it useful for certain jobs.  While planning for Banned Books Week at work, I thought "I need a BBW Pinterest board!"  Sure enough, there was one and I got 3-4 great graphics from it, plus our main cool idea for this year (a rogues' gallery of mug shots--people caught reading banned books).

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If looking at things on Pinterest makes someone feel inferior, I think it's coming from within that individual, not from any inherent pressure from Pinterest. I don't think Pinterest has a culture of perfectionism; I don't think it even has one particular culture at all, as people use it differently.

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Pinterest is a virtual corkboard for me. Some collect ideas, pieces of articles and the like in other ways such as files, idea boxes, etc. I was actually doing virtual window shopping for a long time before pinterest.

 

I do know that some people drive me bonkers with their pins. You can always unfollow those boards. Only follow what you like or what inspires.

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I can see how it might make some people feel inferior. Kind of the same way Martha Stewart makes homemakers feel inferior with her perky can-do attitude. Or the perfect mom blogs. You know the ones where the mom is perfect, the kids are perfect, the dad is perfect and the mom has the perfect answer for every situation. These are the ones with the perfect photos and if the background hasn't been photoshopped out the background is immaculately clean.

 

Hmmm.. I suppose some of my issues are showing, huh?

 

Anyway, don't let Pinterest get you down. Use it as a tool. Don't become a Pinterest slave. Hey, I need to make a cute button with that last bit and pin it.

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Pinterest is fine as long as it doesn't make you feel inferior. I use it to gather ideas. Actually, I just wrote a blog post on this very topic a week or so ago. Here's the link: PINTEREST BLOG POST

 

ChristusG, your blog post nailed how I feel. What's wrong with just baking a cake, hanging some streamers, and letting the kids run around in the backyard? People may say they don't feel pressure from Pinterest and the nine million perfect-mom/house/life/children blogs, but something has really changed among the people I know. DS has only been to one traditional (like from my childhood) birthday party ever (other than some of the lame ones his sad-excuse-for-a-party-planner mother has thrown him).  I think we, as a culture, have lost something with our constant sharing of the perfect moments of life.

 

To be honest, I may be unfairly maligning Pinterest as I don't actually have a Pinterest account. Some of you have intrigued me with how you keep track of different ideas. I can see the benefits of that, and maybe I'll give it a try now that you can sign up without Facebook.

 

I still do feel sad at the superficiality that all of this media creates. As ChristusG said in her blog post, we do start to think that others are leading these perfect lives that we aren't. I live near a bestselling author. The author's Facebook feed is full of fabulous images of her fabulous life and perfect family. I think she does have a fabulous life, but from living next to them, I can tell you that there are many, many non-perfect elements that the people who fawn over the Facebook updates don't ever see. It saddens me when I see strangers commenting that they wish that their lives were more like hers because I know that her life is only a little bit like the life that's portrayed on Facebook. In some ways that's okay because few people want to see lots of pictures of her kids screaming and fighting.

 

I wonder how constantly being exposed to all these images of imaginary perfection on Facebook, Pinterest or all of those "perfect life" blogs changes us. I know it can easily lead to people feeling less than--less beautiful, less loved, less organized, less fabulous. I know that I occasionally catch myself falling victim to it!

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Here's a laugh for you--right now I'm trolling the internet looking at organization blogs and trying to get inspiration for some of my problem spots. I love looking at the pretty pictures, but I'm also feeling like I need to go buy some washi tape and baskets before I can try something new! With some washi tape, I'm sure it will all work just perfectly! :lol:

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ChristusG, your blog post nailed how I feel. What's wrong with just baking a cake, hanging some streamers, and letting the kids run around in the backyard? People may say they don't feel pressure from Pinterest and the nine million perfect-mom/house/life/children blogs, but something has really changed among the people I know. DS has only been to one traditional (like from my childhood) birthday party ever (other than some of the lame ones his sad-excuse-for-a-party-planner mother has thrown him).  I think we, as a culture, have lost something with our constant sharing of the perfect moments of life.

 

Because it really is cheaper and easier for me to have a party at a venue?  And our backyard (while interesting in its own way) doesn't have any grass, so it's not very conducive to running around.  And if it rains, I don't want to have to move the party indoors.  Also, a backyard birthday party in February (my son's birthday) would be pretty miserable. 

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I am a Pinterest dropout. I created an account but I couldn't really figure out how it worked so I stopped going there. I don't even know of any mommy blogs either.

 

Sometimes I actually feel left out because I don't know what you all are talking about with this stuff so I think about going on Pinterest again or searching out mommy blogs. But then I forget to do it. Oh well. I guess if I am a crafty-mommy failure it's better if I don't know. Ignorance being bliss and all that. :)

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Has anyone seen this? Warning, every pin has the F word on it. But it is a pinterest board making fun of pinterest. 

 

Thanks for that! I had not seen it. As Homer Simpson would say, "It's funny because it's true".

 

I don't have a Pinterest account but I have seen my sister's page so I get the gist of what it is. A year or so ago someone here posted the link to the Pintrosity site which was rather hilarious.

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I wonder how constantly being exposed to all these images of imaginary perfection on Facebook, Pinterest or all of those "perfect life" blogs changes us. I know it can easily lead to people feeling less than--less beautiful, less loved, less organized, less fabulous. I know that I occasionally catch myself falling victim to it!

Both Pinterest and many of the blogs are essentially online glossy magazines.  They might be written in first person but they are not quick snapshots of crafts or even life put up by your next door neighbors who just want to share something cute or fun.  They are marketed to look good.  I know that many people think that is disingenuous but I don't think it is anymore than if you thought that the first person article on "how I organized my home" (with it's perfect copy and photos) in Woman's Day Magazine is not quite true to life.  (This doesn't mean that I don't think that your neighbor couldn't be a contributor - just that he/she put "professional" effort into making it look good.)

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Pinterest Fail

 

I pin everything I might need or want to do later so I don't ever lose it, but I feel no pressure to do everything I pin. Maybe that's a personality thing? I do have a board for the things I've done that I saw on Pinterest just because it feels like an accomplishment. I gave up on being super crafty a long time ago. It's my go-to for book lists, educational movies, SOTW projects, healthy recipes, and clever organizational tips that I never would have thought of. I don't have the time or money to buy a bunch of cooking, decorating, or family magazines so this has filled that slot nicely and it's all things that I like.

 

Thanks for the link. It's similar to the Pinstrosity page and equally good. The eggs were pretty awesome--I can only imagine what her oven looked like after that.

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No! No! Pinterest does not make me feel like I am lacking in some way!

I use it to look up ideas that creative people have come up with. If I want to install a grape trellis, I see what kind of grape trellises are possible. Ditto windowbox flowers or anything.  It's like window shopping too.

I got a lot of ideas for a birthday party I'm giving.  I was glad because I can not think up cute, clever ideas all that easily. Some people can, but I guess I have different talents. :)  I take those ideas, go about it in my own ramshackle way, and then when people praise the result I blush and say shyly, "I got it off Pinterest."   (half kidding)

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I don't do mommy blogs unless I'm going there to get specific ideas for my curriculum.  

 

I found Pinterest last year right at fall time and discovered sooooo many cute things to do and try.  Well, the girls love everything and are looking forward to doing them again!  I have a lot of Slacker Mom in me, but Pinterest gives me actual simple things to do that make me LOOK awesome!

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