It's everyone's guilty pleasure: spending hours pinning things we aspire to do, be, or eat. Affectionately known as "the world's catalog of ideas," Pinterest has been around for six years. Beginning as an invitation-only site (exclusive much?), it now has over 100 million monthly active users. It is this generation's go-to place for crafts, recipes, work-outs, fashion inspiration, quotes, make-up tips — you name it. So, how do we categorize this behemoth of the interweb? An honorable ode to human creativity or an overrated collection of common sense? I propose that it is both; not all good, not all bad. Pinterest can be a seriously cool arsenal of inspiration, as well as a false prophet of unrealistic expectations.
Let's start off with the positives, because whether you are an avid pinner or not, you can't deny Pinterest's major success. I have 19 Pinterest boards (no shame), but my most poppin' one as of late is the one filled with DIY (do it yourself) projects. This is due to the facts that a) I don't believe in buying things that I could just as easily make, and b) I'm moving into a house for my sophomore year of college and DIYing stuff is the fast-track to making a house feel like home. Pinterest is the best resource for this because it has a library of DIY projects all in one place. The majority of the pins take you to a site with step-by-step instructions and pictures to guide you. The photograph attached to any given pin provides a visual goal to strive for, therefore making the end result seem more attainable. Whenever you complete a Pinterest-inspired task, be it a meal, work-out, or piece of art, I guarantee a feeling of accomplishment — especially if you like your version better than the one you tried to copy (warning: this is rare). Aside from DIYs, Pinterest provides a plethora of life hacks, lists of every kind, photography to attempt to imitate, and "5 Minute Booty Bustin' Workouts." I honestly use the Pinterest search bar as often as I use Google.
On the flip side, Pinterest can make you feel like a failure because, in actuality, almost nothing is as simple to create as the website makes it look. What seems like a few simple steps might actually take hours, supplies you don't own, and skills you didn't realize you didn't possess. Pinterest is a sort of virtual utopia. The cameras used are fancy, the advertisements are endorsed and the models used are ... well, models. This falsification can breed some serious comparison. Plus, Pinterest as a whole can just be flat out overwhelming. There are 36 categories not even including your home feed, and everything looks so cute and Instagram-worthy. You just want to pin it all! But, your pins are no good if you don't actually go back and execute them. They'll just sit there collecting virtual dust. I honestly waste an embarrassing amount of time clicking away, only to forget I ever pinned "41 Easy Things To Do With Mason Jars."
Essentially, your trip to Pinterestland can either end with a moment of pride or unnecessary frustration. But you can't knock it until you try it, right?