The Pinterest Trap
Do you follow me on Pinterest? Don’t worry if you don’t. I realize not everyone gets Pinterest. Just the other the day the BFF says to me “Yes, but what do I do with it?” As if the act of collecting other people’s ideas, images, hacks, decorating schemes, clothes, recipes, sayings, memes, and pictures of cats some how wasn’t actually doing something. Pah-shaw.
Lucky me. I do get it. Online pin board. Pin your interests. I’ve always loved me a real life pin board. Pinterest is the online, instant gratification, manifestation of that love of collecting. And wanting. Pine-ing, even. Pine-terest?
See iffen you did follow me on this particular form of social media, you may have noticed I’ve gone a little bat shit on the baby front. Specifically in regards to baby living quarters and shower. Because my brand new baby is going to place a high priority on what the room where they get their diaper changed looks like. And I definitely get to plan my own shower. No. False. Notice that’s not stopping me. I keep pinning.
The story goes a little something like this. In talks about showers and nurseries (I don’t actually like that word), someone (actually many ones, I think) asked me about a ‘theme’. Theme!?! I don’t need a theme! Our theme will be sleeping and waste management. How’s that sound? Quickly followed by “Ermagawd, I need a theme!”. Off to the races I go. Noodling, brainstorming, and yes, pinning away.
Now, some people are good pinners. Katy Wolk-Stanley comes to mind. The non-consumer herself, she focuses on frugal hacks, manageable DIY projects, and just plain inspiration. I, on the other hand, I get a wee bit caught up. See pinning might not actually be (ahem) doing anything. But, for me, it feels remarkably like making a to-do list. Of things I need to accomplish. Now. Accomplish meaning buy, prepare for, do right damn now. I click through pins to etsy stores. To artists I can email about commissions. To lists of things my baby needs. Purchases I didn’t even know were so vital to my existence. Let alone my unborn child’s. I start to reprioritze them into the 2013 goals and fake budgets. I make on-going adjustments to my baby registry. It all feels so damn important.
Some of this is practical. If we use shower and nursery (gag) decorations already to be found around my house (owls? vintage? woodland anyone?) not only will I have on-hand supplies, but it will be easy to incorporate them back into said house when they are (quickly) no longer baby appropriate. Well, that makes sense. Adding to the cache of that stuff in a big way to fill a room for an infant, or better yet, a glossy photo shoot that won’t happen (except in my mind’s eye) that’s less sense right there.
If we use Pinterest as our view of the world, then many, many bloggers apparently photograph the hell out of their beautiful baby rooms. They use swatches. They buy thousand dollar rocking chairs (no, really). Let us remember (by us, I mean me), I am not that blogger. More importantly, I will not be that mommy. My kid is more likely to have a savings account at birth (true story, I’ve got plans) than designer furniture. This is an exercise in conscious consumerism. What can’t be found used will certainly be found locally. And, we aren’t talking Big Box. What can’t be found locally, will still be made or purchased from real people. An excuse to spend is an excuse to put your priorities into action.
I’m not saying to stop with the pinning. I’m not even saying I’ll stop. I am saying, don’t treat it like I do. Don’t get caught up in the pretty pictures. In the have-to’s. In the lists. In the glossy magazine-ness of it all. We’ve all got plenty of Joneses to keep up with. The internet need not provide anymore. Don’t let it feed the consumerism beast, when in fact it should do just the opposite. Provide fodder to re-use what you’ve got, to cheaply hack your way through that project and still keep it beautiful, to surround yourself with those who are doing the same. I’ll keep my pin boards of pretty pictures. I just need to remember to look at them a little differently.
What websites give you a case of the gimmes? That sinking gotta-have-it feeling. How do you combat it?