Week 21: Very Very Pinteresting

Week 21 is upon us, and this week we are giving up another form of social media:

Pinterest.

Pinterest-ing is one of Bethany’s favorite things to do for fun. She loves scrolling the feed that has been curated for her, according to her personal tastes and recent searches. There is an endless number of boards you can create, an infinite number of topics each board can represent, and countless pins to pin. This week, though, it is off limits. She even deleted it off her phone to avoid the temptation.

Joshua does utilize Pinterest on occasion. He likes the list/organizational aspect of Pinterest. It is great for story boarding, planning for trips or events, and saving pictures of stellar workout plans. He does not use it as much for the social aspect, but it is a wonderful tool for planning and research.

But as we have been analyzing and discussing our social media usage, we are learning that, like Facebook and Instagram, it is very easy to waste time and get lost in scrolling while on Pinterest. We don’t think it is all that much of a time-waster for us, but we will find out this week.

Pinterest certainly has its perks. It is fascinating to be able to view so much inspiration in one place, and very convenient to save links in an organized fashion. Bethany has boards for recipes, style, minimalism tips, and travel inspiration/info–just to name a few. She’s been using the website almost since its inception back in 2010. Back then, she mostly saved memes and “bucket list” items. “Curated” wasn’t really a big thing back then. Even if it was a big thing for everyone else, it wasn’t for a young homeschooler just discovering the world of “pinning.”

As Pinterest grew and started becoming less about social interaction and more about products, advertising, and inspiration, Bethany grew with it. One of the main reasons she enjoys Pinterest is the lack of social interaction (zero drama, y’all). Maybe that’s a bad thing to enjoy, but the lack of a social aspect leads into the second main reason why she enjoys it: the inspiration. It’s not as much about impressing people with your collection of pins as it is collecting pins that inspire you: your photography, cooking, closet, lifestyle, or future plans.

One of the struggles of social media is the constant comparison with your friends and their possessions or lifestyles. Pinterest almost completely eliminates that possibility. (Although last year they did launch a new tab that allows you to hop off the curated feed and view just your friends’ recent “pin” activity.) However it can add a new layer of comparison that is just as dangerous. Most of the photos/pins on Pinterest are taken by professional photographers. If they aren’t by professionals they have been edited fairly well by amateurs. This level of professional photography on Pinterest can cause us to stumble, to compare our reality with a tiny fraction of something that may or may not be real. We as social creatures cannot let down our guard when it comes to our contentment vs comparison. We must continue to be vigilant and fight the desire to be better or have better.

This week, we (Joshua and Bethany) will be testing ourselves in two ways. First of all, how much of our time does Pinterest take up? Have we simply replaced the time we spent on Facebook on our phones with Pinterest? We don’t think we have, but we will find out this week.

Second, we want to see if spending zero time on Pinterest helps us be more content because we are not viewing perfectly styled homes, perfectly photographed food, and perfectly curated closets. We are excited for this challenge.

As we get deeper into our year long challenge we are faced with a daunting question; do we need any social media in our lives at all? We both agree that it is a tool that can be used for good. Yet we see it hurting so many around us. We struggle ourselves to use it wisely. Toward the end of the year we are planning to go an entire week without all forms of social media. We will continue refining the way we interact on social platforms. We challenge you to consider how you are using this tool. Is it making you more social and providing opportunities to interact with others, or is it leading to comparison and discontentment in your life?

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