Pinterest is a big deal. To me, to you, and probably to your mom. It gives off these warm fuzzies and shares our collective love of puppies and green leather couches. It knows that we probably can’t afford the Givenchy boots that we save, and it doesn’t judge for it. The Pinterest page is, in a way, an extension of self. It is our ideal self, I suppose. The one that owns the perfect end table and the right knick knacks to top it. But it’s not just the best parts of us—it’s the worst. It is all the things we are not, all the things forgotten and not done. It’s a love/loathe relationship that makes Pinterest so universal.
Pinterest lets you both curate and create the perfect you. It’s a way to read someone without words, it’s a book with chapters you’re constantly writing, re-writing, and collecting—and that’s a pretty big deal, if you ask me. It’s not just finding perfect recipes that we want to try; it’s finding the perfect recipes that we think other people should know that we want to try.
What makes Pinterest unique from any other social media platform is that it offers a false sense of ownership without the high cost of living. With all the clothes, shoes, and accessories pinned to boards upon boards, it’s nice to pretend that the items are our own. It introduces dozens of new artists to us with every log-in. Pinterest shows people so many new pieces of art, textiles, and designers that they might never have seen while strolling through the rest of the internets. Pinterest helps us to dream that our walls are lined with fantastic pieces of whimsy and wonder—even though most of us have landlords that would keep our deposit and then some for such holes found in the walls.
But Pinterest is also the beast that puts all of our shortcomings and downfalls on display. People see it too. Because it’s rapidly becoming a great way to spy on someone’s innermost feelings and (not so) secret desires. Way better than the Facebook wall, Pinterest has things saved that no one tweets or posts about. Your new girlfriend’s future wedding plans? Your cousin’s favorite outfits for babies (she’s not pregnant)? They’re all there. Waiting for you to lurk on each board, each little window into an individual’s desires. Pinterest is like an Instagram into the soul…or a snapshot of the psyche, maybe.
Pinterest is the digital junk drawer that we all dread cleaning out.
In many ways, Pinterest is like the virtual version of the many stacks of magazines we all have, waiting to topple if we even think of adding to the pile. It is the articles our moms clip out and save for us and the books that we haven’t got around to yet. It is the digital junk drawer that we all dread cleaning out. Pinterest has resulted in projects not created, things not done yourself, recipes not tried and good book recommendations not ever returned to. Many a Pinterest board has become a virtual graveyard of ideas laid to rest, excited captions typed. And it’s terrifying to think that it’s out there, for all the world to see.
Especially when it’s as scary/sad a pin as this:
Of course, it’s also a really fun pasttime, timewaster, inspiration-finder, party planner, etc. Let’s not get all down and out about our Pinterest boards. I mean, some of us are really getting it right.
Like these folks:
Joy Cho/Oh Joy!
Paper Darts! (DUH)
Kate Spade New York
Sally Franson—proof, proof, proof, more proof
sfgirlby bay/ victoria smith
Now go, pin and pine to your heart’s content. Just know that we’ll be watching.