Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughts on Pinterest

Have you guys played with Pinterest?  It's fun. I like it. But I also hate it. And it kind of makes me sad. Such mixed feelings!

Here's the deal: it's a bookmarking site that is all the rage with the ladies. Especially with the Mormon ladies, apparently. Essentially, you can create a bunch of "inspiration boards" by "pinning" or bookmarking images and links you find on the internets.

I find this especially useful, since I have no less than 4 computers in regular use in my life, and I am quite obviously a procrastinator, meaning that I find many recipes and links I'd like to follow up on from home during my work day. My old problem was that bookmarking them on my work computer made it necessary to turn on  my work computer at home to retrieve the link. That's against my policy in the case of non-extreme circumstances. I used to email myself links, but it led to a cluttered inbox... and I'm a little OCD about my inbox.

Pinterest allows me to "pin" my recipes and must-reads to my board, then log in from home to access them. Easy peasy! It's also been great for wedding planning and wedding ideas. I was able to easily show my bridesmaids what kind of dresses I had in mind, so they could pick their own on-theme attire.

I have also found a humorous side of Pinterest, because, as in life, not everyone on the site has great taste. I've found a couple of amazing "wedding" or "style" boards that are just so far from good-taste that they come around again to being awesome. Like, I would love to score an invite to these weddings featuring ren-faire inspired wedding gowns or sparkly blue eye shadow.  I'll have to share my "favorite" boards with you all sometime. Now I need to find out if J-Woww has an account.

But, you must know, Pinterest is also often derided for being a cozy lady-place on the web. Whereas other internets social sites like Reddit or even Gawker are filled with people trying to be the funniest, smartest, or snarkiest, Pinterest is pretty vanilla and friendly. Which, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with being pleasant. In fact, it's how I try to live my life. But lots of women argue that the whole site is a place for women to learn to be better housewives and homemakers. I think that's a bit extreme, but there are certain themes I see on the site that give me pause and/or make me sad.

For example, I have seen a lot of boards called thinks like "Thinspiration" or "Dream Body." That makes me sad. Here's a representative Pin:
I mean... come on. Fuck you, Gwyneth. Aside from the fact that you are one of the most infuriating celebrities on earth, thanks to your self-righteous attitude and complete inability to empathize with women that live the real world, now your god-awful quotes are being used as inspiration by women that I know to be smart, successful, and hard-working. Ladies: why do you think Gwynny has time to work out 1.5 hours per day? And is your mother Blythe Danner? Genetics: pshaw.

Another prevalent trend on Pinterest: wedding planning boards for women that are not engaged. I mean, do what you want, but I don't think it does much for our cause when you're planning your imaginary wedding. Of course, at some level, we all want to meet that one person and have a fun wedding. But it's just perpetuating the stereotype that we're all just waiting to get married. But, I guess perhaps it's the same thing as having an entire board for children ideas when you are as yet un-knocked-up.

Generally, I think the site is a great tool. And I don't think it's inferior to other social sites just because it's female dominated. I just may need to watch who I "follow" on the site so that I don't continually fly into feminist anger spirals.

1 comment:

  1. But, you have to love the REALLY cheesy stuff. I have a board called WTF - Someone actually pinned this: