The downsides of the Pinterest phenomenon
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past three years, you are familiar with Pinterest, a site which is “is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love”. Pinterest, has been deemed an addiction from its users (which are millions), because it does what it states, but also because in the eyes of its users it’s something more: a collection of fine images, recipes and DIYs which ultimately aims in beautifying our lives and unleashing our creative side. In our obsessive with perfection society, Pinterest in an outlet of all things perfect that are presented in a way that seems attainable to the average person. It has us thinking that we can create the perfect fishtail braid, and get inspiration for the perfect wedding and conquer several “life hacks” to make our everyday life easy. Therefore, it is not so hard to understand why browsing through Pinterest is such an addictive everyday habit. However, like every other social network, Pinterest has it’s downsides.
Most of us have tried something we pinned, be it a recipe, a DIY or something else. Some of us succeeded; quite a lot of us didn’t. That is apparent from the increase of sites that are devoted to “Pinterest fails”. Those sites showcase the results of Pinterest crafts and recipes after the efforts of average people, which are most of the times dissapointing and remind nothing of the original Pinterest inspiration. Even though that is entertaining in the “expectation VS reality” way, it can actually be disheartening to a lot of people. The reason is simple: seeing a project of four steps ending up being a disaster in our hands, whereas it looks flawless in Pinterest, could cause questions of one’s capabilities. “It looked so easy! Yet I messed it up! What did I do wrong? I followed all the steps! Maybe I am just not good with crafts!” This may sound extreme, but in the long run, failing to accomplish a number of crafts can cause a person to doubt their capacity when it comes to doing certain things. This is especially true for women, seeing as most of the times we happen to be more self conscious than men. And when we find ourselves not being able to make glowing mason jars, we are more likely than men to let it get to us and bring us down in some ways.
Pinterest may also cause some kind of anxiety. Say you have taken up on a project. You have started it out quite fine, but everyday life won’t let you complete it in one go. You may be busy with school, a job, taking care of the house or something else that requires a lot of your everyday time. When you are done with this everyday obligation, you may not be in the mood to deal with your project. You may just want to kick back, relax and watch cat videos on YouTube. And that is fine, except it isn’t. Because in the back of your head, you may get stressed about finishing the project you took up. In the end, you keep procrastinating finishing it up, until you are in the mood. And that is technically perfectly okay, except it can build up anxiety. In today’s society we learn that we have to finish what we start, and that just doesn’t stop at work. If you start cleaning up your home and get tired and commit to finish cleaning up the bathroom tomorrow, chances are you will be uneasy for the rest of the day, because you will be thinking of this unfinished deal. That it the way it works in all our life aspects, including our hobbies, and that is how Pinterest may make you anxious. Even though that may not be true for some people, it would be a shame if we didn’t admit that we take the stress of having everything done “in time” in our personal lifes. We shouldn’t though; instead we should remember that we took up a certain project for fun and for passing creatively our time.
One of the reasons Pinterest is so popular is because it gives us a chance to emerge our inner Martha Stewart. Most jobs today are everything but creative; we are confined in small offices, doing paperwork and boring tasks, something that can drain our creative juices. Pinterest helps us feel our creative void: with millions of suggestions, we can be creative easily in our own time. However, it is important to keep in mind that most of the images we come across on Pinterest are taken by professionals and edited, and resemble the images we see on magazines, of the unrealistically beautiful models. Unrealistic is the word to keep in mind: that Triple Berry White Chocolate pie may look like perfection in Pinterest, but it is made to look like that to appeal to you. So don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t turn up looking quite this way; after all most of us are not professionals in food styling. And if you are all about taking what you see and replicating exactly, then you should never forget that practise makes perfect (besides, you can find tips on Google, and well, yeah, Pinterest too.) But always remember to have fun with what you do. And if it turns out more Pinterest fail than pin-worthy, at least acknowledge the fun you had doing it!