Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Pinterest Effect

One does not simply check Pinterest "real quick." As soon as you access your account, you are instantly whisked away to a world of repurposed mason jars, outfits you wish you owned, recipes that look to good to be real, wedding day inspirations and Ryan Gosling. And hundreds of pins later, two hours of your life is now gone. This is a phenomenon that I like to call "The Pinterest Effect."

I have fallen under the Pinterest spell more times than I can count. If I can't decide what I'm wearing for a night out with friends, I go to "Women's Fashion" for outfit inspirations. I needed a recipe of something delicious (and easy) for a Super Bowl party I was going to, my first resource was Pinterest. I am a bridesmaid for my best friend Finley this November, her wedding now has its own board on my page where I spent over an hour yesterday pinning random wedding ideas. I have pinned so many things since first getting my account back in '11 that I am beginning to suffer from "pin-nesia" (where you forget if you have pinned something already or not). I can pull up my Pinterest account in the first minutes of class, and then the next thing I know the teacher is dismissing us. I think I speak for every "pin obsessor" when I say that the "Pinterest Effect" is very real.

You're probably asking, why do these girls get so caught up in a website full of pictures? What is the big deal? From my point of view, pinners are transported into another world where they secretly wish they could have/make everything they're seeing. I'm not saying every pinner is unhappy with their life but Pinterest gives us that peak into what we wish we could have. I wish all of the outfits on my style board would magicly land in my closet or my apartment would redecorate itself to look like my home board or even the picturesque recipes I drool over would make themselves.

What is mind-blowing to me is how much we depend on Pinterest today. If I need a craft idea, I automatically go to Pinterest with no questions asked. Back in the day, people had to actually be creative and come up with the genius ideas that overflow on Pinterest such as making a mason jar into a candle or "Elf on the Shelf" scenarios for the kids. It's less-time consuming than real artistry, but still far less convenient than ordering the dern thing on Amazon. The other cultural shift behind the rise of DIY is the decline of the value of expertise. To become a great knitter, it would take hundreds of hours of practice. But in the Pinterest world, expertise is no longer valued in quite the same way. Why knit a beer koozie when you can make one out of an old sock?

After all of the combined hours I have spent looking through Pinterest and disappointment when my creations don't look like the pin, I am still an obsessor of this website. Pinterest is like Etsy and Pottery Barn had a baby and made a scrapbook of their cute little family (now re-pin that).

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