I’ll admit it; I’m addicted.
I didn’t think it would—or could—happen to me.
I use Facebook responsibly, rarely abuse email, don’t have an avatar, and
am oblivious to eBay.
Pinterest, also known as “crack for women,” is my drug of choice. I love searching for pictures and ideas and posting them to the boards I create. Sometimes, I talk about the site a little more than is reasonable.
“Debbie,” I called my sister across the country one Sunday afternoon, armed with the knowledge that she was in the middle of a kitchen re-do.
“You've got to get on Pinterest!" I assured her. "I just saw a great idea for a broom closet built onto the side of a fridge!”
I’ve had to make rules around its use. Must. Stop. Repining. By. Midnight.On.Weekdays.
So one day, instead of fighting the Pinterest urge, I decided to find a way to assimilate my new addiction into my life. Whenever possible, I would make choices according to the advice on Pinterest.
Recipe to prepare or new outfit to buy? Pinterest. Need idea for kids crafts? Halloween displays? Pinterest.
Home décor? Pinterest.
In some cases, my new choices were easy. I used the Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread recipe I pinned to prepare a treat for a fundraiser. I made adorable gifts for a holiday event. I sewed a purple felt flower scarf. I
found a list of ways to appreciate my husband. (He appreciated that.)
But our folded laundry languished in the basket, never quite making it to drawers.
I did not work on my novel.
I checked out from a lot of my life for the thrill of the pin.
And then I wondered:
why is pinning such a rush?
Pinterest is like a giant garage sale of ideas.
If I dig hard enough, I justify, I will find the great concept that will change my life. And that’s the problem.
Most of the ideas are fun and creative. But like many of the suggestions in women’s magazines, the ones on Pinterest probably won’t change my life.
Like most working mothers /wannabe novelists,
I feel the pressure to comply with all of society’s expectations. To design a cozy yet chic home. To
eat organic, vegan, non-GMO meals. To have an amazing sex life.
To be powerful at work. To raise achievement-oriented, perfectly behaved children. To look stylish and
sexy. To cook homemade meals with homegrown produce. To write a best-selling book.
These goals aren’t all quite realistic. In her book Think: Straight Talk for Women,
Lisa Bloom writes how the habit of reading tabloids and watching reality TV
keeps women from taking real action in their own lives.
She pulls no punches, writing, “We’ve got to use our brains for more than
filler in the space behind our smooth, Botoxed foreheads.
The generation before us fought like hell and won for us equality in
education and employment. Let’s use that for a higher purpose than sending
pictures of kittens on Facebook.”
Of course, small pleasures can reap great rewards (Hey, I think I will pin that to my “Truths” board) and a recent study did determine that productivity is enhanced by cute pictures of kittens and puppies. But Pinterest keeps me mired only in the details of life, details which can be perfected. The truth is that the details of my real world are much messier than my Pinterest boards. There are no categories for “hormonal
teenager,” “late for work,” “elderly father lost his cell phone again,” or “must grade papers before stumbling into
So while I still adore the thrill of the pin, I’m ready to reclaim my life, pursue my goals and reconnect with my imperfect world. There’s an election going on, family
health concerns, and other important issues. I’m sure I will return to pinning
every once in a while (withdrawal symptoms possible) but in the meantime, I’m
determined to step back into the real world.