Pinterest (follow me here) has taken over the world, in a sparkly make-your-own-jean-shorts sort of way. There are so many things I love about it, including how having a visual bookmarking system is so much better than just a list of URLs. As a crafty ninja, I love the inspiration and ideas it offers when it comes to my own projects. But I’ve noticed how often pins are captioned:
- OMG I want!
- Must have!
- If only!
- In my dreams!
- If I ever have babies!
- I wish I’d had this when I got married!
- Well, hello Ryan Gosling!
And I realized that it doesn’t take much for Pinterest to feed into our hearts’ longing for ALL THE THINGS. And not just physical things, of which there are plenty — 1000-square-foot chef’s kitchens, coordinated outfits for every occasion, tropical vacation getaways, nurseries that look like Martha Stewart exploded in there, etc. But also the things of dreams — weddings in castles, perfect babies that look like they never cry, all-organic gourmet homemade menus, itsy-bitsy-waisted women encouraging a flat set of perfectly tan abs, husbands who spend their free time vacuuming and being Ryan Gosling.
Wow. All of a sudden, life ain’t so great, is it? So I had to create a set of Pinterest Rules of Survival for myself. These are my own personal rules. Obviously Pinterest is to each her own, so do with it what you will.
But if you’re feeling a little I-want-I-want about Pinterest, perhaps these rules will help you out in your pinning adventures. Here we go:
1. No matter how cool/pretty/unusual the thing is, if there is no possibility of me doing this thing, I will not pin it.
For example: rooftop garden ideas, book nook princess loft, Katniss braid tutorial, phrenology chart, trip to St. Barts, DIY mosaic table, sparkle rainbow manicure, birthday cake in the shape of a ninja turtle, Ryan Gosling. If I ever get to the point where I can have a rooftop garden, then I’ll go looking for ideas.
2. No matter how cool/pretty/unusual the thing is, if there is no possibility of me owning this thing, I will not pin it:
For example: Caribbean teal mansion, medieval couture dress, cute baby giraffes, art deco tiara, thatched roof cottage, cabinet devoted to storing ribbons and glitter, Picasso painting, Manolo Blahniks, glacier. If I ever decided I have too many ribbons and jars of glitter, then I’ll go looking for ideas.
3. I will pin things that are truly exceptional, innovative, something I’ve never seen before, and totally doable.
When I run across truly incredible, creative, yet completely doable or reasonably priced things, THAT is what I want to pin. Quilting inspiration, sewing tutorials, upcycling, clever crafts that actually yield something I want, interesting typography and photography ideas, green ways to live, party ideas, gift ideas, and recipes that don’t require fondant. Things I might actually DO.
4. I will pin 90% of things from sites other than Pinterest.
Though it’s fun at first, it’s definitely a time-suck to scroll through screen after screen of things to add stuff to my boards. Might as well just feed me to the Monster of Discontent. Instead I will pin most things from the blogs and websites I follow. There are several bonuses to this, including pins get pinned from their original sources (see also: not going to jail for using Pinterest) and I support my friends’ creativity.
5. I will give my pins actual descriptions.
Naming something “Love!!!” or even just “!!!” is NOT HELPFUL. If I want to find some inspiration for a new quilting project, I will not find your “!!!” pin when I search for quilts. Your pin has become useless to everyone but you. I also try to give the original source credit.
6. Never pin Leeza Gibbons.
I have now seen at least four pins of Leeza Gibbons. WHY, PEOPLE, WHY?!
Here’s one other thing to think about. If you’re spending all your time pinning beautiful photos of Aruba, why not figure out how to make a few extra bucks so you can go to Aruba? If you’re spending all your time pinning tricks to keep a cleaner house, why not go clean your house? If you are spending all your time pinning ways to get flat abs, why not go do some sit-ups? If you’re spending all your time pinning photos of Ryan Gosling, why not go stalk Ryan Gosling? When did we stop living and start pinning? Life is better lived than pinned.
Do I break my own rules? Of course. I’m just as guilty as the next gal. I do scroll through Pinterest just to see what’s there, especially when I’m bored. I have a handful pins that bring me joy yet I probably won’t do or own in my lifetime (there’s something about natural and unique jewelry that I just love). There are pins from my early pinning days that need updating — better descriptions and links to the original sources.
But overall, my Pinterest Rules of Survival have helped me stave off the Monster of Discontent, and I find myself adding more and more things to my “I Pinned It, I Did It!” board. And isn’t that the point of Pinterest? To give us inspiration to actually do things? I think so.
So how do you keep from being devoured?
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