Are you using Pinterest regularly? What is it adding to your life? My guess would be that it is bringing more bad into your life than good. Here are 4 reasons why I don’t think you should be using it*.
Before I get into “why not” I’d like to point out one thing that I like a great deal about Pinterest. It is a very positive environment. I’ve seen very little complaining and very little negativity. That is a great thing. As I’ve written before I believe that the world is an incredibly negative place and I applaud the makers of Pinterest for fighting against that trend by creating a positive community.
- It is a fantasy world. Reading through the different boards, pretty much every active Pinterest user is a master chef, a fashion guru, an inspirational leader, a perfect parent, an arts and crafts expert, a world traveler and a ‘spouse of the year’ candidate. It is fake. Pinterest gives the impression that “you are what you love” which in some ways might be true (when considering your children, your spouse, your extended family, your spiritual beliefs, etc), but when we apply “you are what you love” to recipes, material goods and clothes we are traveling down the wrong path. The clothes you wear and the material goods that you like do not define you. You define you. The inside you, your thoughts, your joys and your wounds. Those don’t generally make it onto Pinterest.
- It creates false connections between people. Reading someone’s board, it feels like you’re getting to know someone. It feels like “look at all we have in common! I love those things too!” But that isn’t real. As I said above, the clothes we like and the food we like do not define us. I love this Ted video where Dr. Brene Brown discusses how humans connect with one another. Her research has indicated that we connect when one of us is courageous enough to be vulnerable. I don’t see very much vulnerability on Pinterest, I see a lot more candy coating.
- It feeds and encourages our materialism. It fuels the false ideas that our culture has put in our heads that if we only had _____ we would feel fulfilled. If we could only cook these types of dishes… If we could only travel to these types of places… If only, if only, if only. It draws us AWAY from focusing on the things in our lives that we are happy about and should be grateful for and it points our focus toward things that we want. It tells us continually that what we are missing in our lives can be found “out there” in recipes, clothes, inspirational sayings, home décor, etc. It sends us down a path that does not lead to fulfillment.
- It is time consuming. I’m sure we’ve all heard of empty calories. Too many things in our lives amount to empty minutes. In our modern lives, time is our only truly limited resource. We don’t know how much we’ve got and there is no way to get more. Time spent on Pinterest is time that you could be interacting with your family face to face, talking with your friends about real things, working on yourself, learning, DOING SOMETHING!. Life is short.
So, in that vein I will now list my 5 favorite “Quotes” from about Pinterest. I will include only the texts as I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s photo protection.
- Pinterest: Where women go to plan imaginary weddings, dress children that don’t exist and decorate homes we can’t afford.
- Thank you Pinterest for making me feel creative even though I’ve just been sitting at the computer for the last 3 hours.
- Now that I’ve wasted an hour on Facebook, I’ll just hop on over to Pinterest and make it an evening!
- I was going to be productive today, but then I got on Pinterest!
- Honey, could you order us a pizza for dinner? I’m too busy pinning healthy recipes on Pinterest!
* Disclaimer: This may not apply to YOU. Generalizations are incredibly dangerous and often stupid. My apologies if this does not apply to your specific life, but please be aware of the possibility that this does apply to your life even though your initial knee jerk reaction is going to be that it does not apply to your life.