Do you love Pinterest? Of course you do. Everyone loves Pinterest. So many pretty things to look at! Except a funny thing can sometimes happen when you spend too much time on that lovely site. Check it out:
I log into Pinterest and feel like my normal self – smart, funny, creative, and generally fun to be around. I browse around and get lost in a click maze of Pins and I love it. For a while. Then bad things start happening. My normal confident self gets buried under an avalanche of DIY crafts and in my mind I become a lazy schlepp who has never had an original, funny, or creative thought her entire life. Harumph.
When that happens, I have to make myself stop, and Step Away From the Pinterest.
Does that happen to you? Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and just a bit (or maybe a lot!) inadequate? Yeah, I thought it might. In an effort of self preservation, I’ve come up with a short list of personal Pinterest rules. They might help you as well. Here they are:
1. “Get in, get out, get on with your life.” No, we’re not on our way to Chilis, but still, their slogan would work really well for this exercise. When you log into Pinterest, set thyself a timer. Seriously. Like a kitchen timer that counts down and makes a really annoying beeping sound when the time is up. Or set an alarm on your phone. Something with a really annoying song that plays when your time limit is reached, maybe something by the BeeGees or Celine Dion. If you’re like me, you can only handle a short time on Pinterest, maybe 5 or 10 minutes. If you’re a beacon of self confidence then maybe you can handle more. But be strict. You’ve only got a short window of time before the inadequacy demons start decending. And plus, you’ve got a whole real life waiting for you outside of your computer screen!
2. Know your wants from your want to wants. This gem is from my sister. She taught me a few years ago to distinguish between my wants and my want to wants. An example: I’m a runner, and really do want to run faster, so I pin motivational running photos. However, I only want to want to wear fancy make up and do my hair everyday. Since I don’t actually and truly want to wear makeup and do my hair everyday, I try to strictly limit the hair and makeup photos I pin. It’s easy enough to feel inadequate about trying new things when you really do want to do them; it can get way too overwhelming if you have pins of stuff that deep down you don’t really want to do or try.
3. On the other hand, Pinning is cheap, so go right on ahead and pin your guts out. If pinning a hundred photos of super cute scrapbook pages makes you happy and you don’t actually go out and spend tons of money on scrapbooking supplies that you’ll never actually use, then hey, go for it. An hour in front of your computer doesn’t really cost you anything, and may even save you from further boughts of inadequacy. If I may, another example from my own life: I want to be a wonderful art journalist (as in, someone who creates art journals, not a journalist who writes about art). It’s just never gonna happen. I know – I’ve tried. I’ve spent money on books and supplies. But art journaling and I just don’t mesh well together. So, I’ve learned to keep my art journaling aspirations squarely on Pinterest. I can spend a few minutes looking a beautiful Pins of art journals, then walk away, and the only thing I’ve lost is a few minutes. Doing that occasionally saves me from spending bunches of money on supplies I’ll never actually use and saves me the frustration of not being able to produce in real life the art journal I have in my head.
4. Be specific in your browsing. If you’re looking for a recipe for pumpkin custard, then do a specific search for pumpkin custard. Don’t wander around aimlessly because pretty soon you’ll find yourself suddenly looking at pictures of really bendy yoginis and thinking to yourself, “man, I’m such a fuddy duddy – why can’t I get my butt to a yoga class and learn to put my foot behind my head?”. And that kind of thinking doesn’t help anyone, except maybe the yoga studio you may join in a flurry of Pinterest inspired yoga obsession.
So those are my Pinterest rules. They help mitigate the Pinterest Overwhelm that can so easily descend on me when I’m browsing that wonderful site. Does anyone else have any techniques that work for them? Oh, and in case you are completely immune to Pinterest Overwhelm and would like to see what I Pin, you can follow me here.