Friday, March 1, 2013

Salad In A Jar, Apples In A Bag or Things I've Learned From Pinterest

When I first heard of Pinterest over a year ago, I scoffed. Why on earth would I need another social media platform? My best friend Kate insisted I sign up, requesting my help with her 'wedding board' for her impending nuptials. Soon there after I became an addict. A dirty, dirty addict. It really didn't take that long, for I am a collector of...things. You see, when I was a kid I romanticized the idea of always being prepared for anything. I saw that little boy in the film 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' who had a bag full of seemingly random but useful things and wanted to be that cool. Thus, my love of collecting was born. As a child I collected rocks in jars, clippings about Dawson's Creek from magazines and posters of JTT. As an adult I have a button/pin collection and save every neat image I come across on the internet. One never knows when one might need a random still from The Simpsons (see fig. A) or a picture of a walrus in agony over the loss of his precious bucket. These could be important things!

The point is, Pinterest played into my love of collection. I could make neat little boards of my interests, recipes, places, anything my heart desired! AND I could share it with people! AND it took up none of the precious little space left on my hard drive. Pinterest and I were a match made in heaven.

But Pinterest is not only a place for my image hoarding, it is also a place of learning. I have learned much about my fellow humans and myself over the course of this past year-and-a-bit. I wish today to share some of those lessons with you:

1. People Hate Themselves. Deep down, we all really, really hate ourselves. I've come to this conclusion from the sheer amount of exercise and diet dogma that appears in this place. People will turn anything into an exercise routine. Watching Doctor Who? Here is a game you can play to keep fit: every time the Doctor says 'Allonsy!' do a sit up! Cooking dinner? Extend your pinky five times to keep fit! While I find some of these crazes great if you are seriously obese or seriously unhealthy, I often see them on my friends boards who are healthy, tiny or athletic people. A healthy diet and moderate exercise will keep you fit. I know I'm not an expert, but I would rather be pudgy and happy than stick thin and miserable. I just can't fall for that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" crap.
2. I Apparently Hate Myself. I am not exempt from the above. I have repinned recipes and exercise plans that promise an easy fix. I don't use any of them cause I'm too busy over here eating that chocolate cake that someone repinned from Martha Stewart Living.
3. ALL THE THINGS. Much like youtube, if there is something you want to learn how to do, you will find the know-how on Pinterest. My How-To board is my most popular and has 1000+ followers. Thanks to Pinterest I now know how to bind my own book, contour my face, make a squirrel stuffed toy using only an old glove and a sewing kit, and how to painlessly remove splinters!

4. Everyone On The Internet Is Craftier Than Me. I feel like somewhere along the line I should have learned how to knit, paint, photograph or create. The education system has failed me. I want to make myself that olive green cardigan out of an old t-shirt, but god damn it, how the fuck do I use a sewing machine!? I guess I should refer myself to number 3.
5. Everyone Is More Prepared For Their Weddings Than Me. It appears every girl on the planet except for me planned for their perfect weddings as children. The women (and some men) of Pinterest have great ideas for themes and venues and flowers! I just know that I one day would like to be married. In a dress. That's probably white. In a place where my future husband can't wear flip-flops, because no.
6. We All Need A Little Encouragement. Some of my favourite boards are ones where people have pinned inspirational quotes or lovely song lyrics. It's nice to know that we're all going through similar things, have similar feelings and find solace in the same places. Solidarity, man!
In the end I fear these may only be lessons to me. Perhaps if you use Pinterest you will learn completely different or contrary things. Perhaps you will actually make that t-shirt cardigan or gluten-free pumpkin pie. Maybe I should get off the internet and learn some real life lessons. 

fig. A