Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinterest Pinsanity

My Pinterest O how I love thee.

It is utterly "pinsane" how Pinterest has taken over my life.  Oh excuse me, I should back up a bit for those of you who don't know about Pinterest yet.  It is the latest hot thing on the Internet, a real barnstormer of a visual social media site that enables you to create a collection of visual bulletin boards.  You get to have as many boards as you want, for as many categories as you want and can pin as many things to them as you want.  This means that when you are on a website or blog that has an image or idea you want can capture it or “pin” it to one of your boards along with the link to site with the idea along with a beautiful image to inspire you to use it.  And yes...it is absolutely wonderful, simply “pinspiring” capturing all those beautiful, wonderful, magical, practical, unbelievable things one finds on Pinterest.  Those of us who have discovered this have all been so over the moon about it so much so that it has been call “visual crack” for the creative types and even equated to Internet hoarding it is so addictive in its appeal.

Not long after I started using Pinterest I created a Facebook group called “Pinterest Enablement and Support (PEAS)” after being unable to find an answer for a question I had about getting a problem resolved on Pinterest.  (I love the twisted little name of the group and how it alludes to Pinterest possibly being addicting don't you?).  Pinterest is a great tool with a lot of potential but after seeing myself and other pinners not using what we were gathering, I decided to try and encourage the members of our group to share what they have used from their pins.  That didn’t go so well, I think I got one or two to share, but then I am as guilty as they are and the question began to nag me, is it really hoarding?

Call me crazy but I thought it would be fun to figure out how long it would take me to use every pin I had captured on my boards if I did only one a day.  Wowwie zowwie…wake up call!  It would take me TEN YEARS to use what I had pinned at that time.  The very next week someone posted a joke poster of Facebook that stated pinners were just Internet hoarders.  I laughed, we all laughed, a little nervously I think as we realized the delight of Pinterest did seem to overtake all sense of reason at times.  We pinners like to say we are "pinning our brains out" which pretty much sums up what happens to a lot of us.  I get caught up in pinning my brains out more than I’d like to admit and I guess my rational has become, if it is fun, the information good, the pictures so inspiring, how can it possibly be a bad thing.

I remember visiting a farm once where the farmer was as frugal as the day is long and in his frugality had amassed quite a large pile of old parts from who knows what types of mechanical things in a pile near the barn.  His shop where he did the fixin’ was stacked half full too.  In reality there was no way that he was ever going to use all that stuff and it was obvious that some of it was nothing but unusable junk.  As we approached his cache he proudly stated “I don’t like spending on things if I don’t have to so I’m saving this just in case I need it.”  The greater portion of this stash was saved for nothing more than the notion of having it just in case...just like my stash of pins. (ugh)

My attitude resembles that farmer's a little too much I'll admit, but still, as I look at my boards, which are mostly filled with ideas I might use some day and see how pretty they look, its hard for me to recon it as an obsession.  However, recently I have even been haunted by the guilt of not using the ideas I have pinned which makes me wonder about that.  These seemingly innocent pins have turned into the Internet equivalent of those projects sitting around my house that I intend to do someday or the mail that doesn’t get tossed because I can’t make my mind up what I need to do with it at that moment.  Sound familiar?

Yeah Baby!  Love those boards!

Want to see for yourself what I am talking about?  Here is a link to my Pinterest boards so you can go have a peek.  Before you do I want ask that you try to visualize every pin on my boards as being a single sheet of paper or a small manual or a little box, I’ll wait right here.  So what did you think?  When we put spatial relationships on them it’s amazing how our perspective changes isn’t it?  By the way, you actually cannot see everything I have pinned without clicking on each board and that would take way too much time unless you have nothing else to do for a couple days.

That didn’t do it for you?  Here’s another example. If I listed my pins in a column on a legal pad…that’s 28 line items per page, divide that into 5000 which is about what I have now.  Let me see...that is 178.5 pages of things to get done.  That is some to-do list!  I think I need therapy.

Happy pinning!

Copyright © 2012 by Patty Hicks
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  1. Ok, ok, now I want to delete a bunch. Actually, I am editing some out, but I'm like you, something catches my eye, a how-to article, a fabulous recipe, a lovely plant... And off I go to pin away, more than I could possibly make, create or break.

  2. You should create a Therapy board. :-)

  3. Ya know G...I was thinking about doing that just the other day. (lol)

    Debbie, I almost went back and deleted a bunch but stopped myself before it was too late.

  4. Patty, I know that 5000 pins is a bit overwhelming, but stop to think for a moment about how many things you HAVE done with your pins. You might be surprised. I have around 1500 pins, and have made many of the recipes for my friends and family, redone my bathroom with ideas from my "bathroom" board (reveal coming soon on my blog... its really cute!), filled my garden with goodies and ideas from my many garden and outdoor boards, saved ideas to use with my girls when they start homeschooling in a year or so, etc. I will NEVER get to all the ideas on my boards, but I have done several, and I know you have too because I have seen you post about them on FB, or here in your blog! If you are enjoying your new obsession, and it is not getting in the way of your relationships (with the Lord, your hubby, friends and family) then enjoy it and use what you can. Have fun with it friend! :o)

  5. Tina, I appreciate the encouragement in your comment. There does need to be balance in all things in our lives it is true. I enjoy getting us to think about how we are using the tools we have online and what their value really is as it helps us to strike a better balance...at least it does for me.

    I think part of the reason I wrote this was to process some changes I see that are needed in my own use of Pinterest so that I will really be gleaning its best use. Not to be too heavy about it, but it should be something we might want to take into consideration. And as I like to say...if it's not fun, why be doing it? =-)

    I can see I am going to need to write another post about great uses for Pinterest as a balance to this one as I see so much potential in it as a tool for bettering our lives too. Thanks again for the comment.