While there are many uses of the Internet, I think that it’s safe to say that much of its purpose may be placed under the umbrella of self-expression.
Tweeting, posting, Instagramming, pinning. It’s actually exhausting, but most people use at least one of these social networks, reaching a large number of people merely to say: “Hey, this is what I think.” So what is my online form of of choice for self-expression? For months now, I am a “pinner.” I like to think that Pinterest is somehow more personal than other social media outlets.
My Pinterest actually describes me. If someone looked at my room and compared it to my Pinterest boards, the two would match.
The inspirational quotes on my walls scrawled in round handwriting, while not formatted over cliché nature shots, are just as motivating to me. The Big Bang Theory poster and “Now Panic and Freak Out” are perhaps representative of my board devoted to things that make me laugh. And the simple art pieces balanced on shelves, while not as perfectly executed as those pins categorized as “DIY,” demonstrate my creative side.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Pinterest. It is less photo-shopped than Instagram and less self-important than Twitter. I like that Pinterest can be used to express yourself. It makes even the least artistic person feel creative and unique. I know that there is a good chance I may never really read or look at the things that I have pinned.
I know that I will probably never feng-shui my room, do my nails in a beautifully geometrical chevron pattern or make a delicious peanut butter chocolate dessert in the shape of a bunny for Easter. But I do like that Pinterest is representative of all of these possibilities.
While the aspect of self-expression is one of the things that makes me a self-declared Pinterest-addict, it is also the thing about Pinterest that upsets me sometimes.
I love it, but I guess that there are times when it disappoints me. I pin something that feels so distinctly “me,” but then quickly learn that one hundred other people just posted the same thing.
Okay, so I have yet to totally succeed on the front of originality on Pinterest. But then again, the purpose of Pinterest is foggy.
Everyone asks what the point of Pinterest is. Well, in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure. Sometimes it seems like a tool for girls to plan their dream weddings or what they might dress like one day when they have the funds to look like Lauren Conrad.
In this sense, the purpose of Pinterest seems to be to teach us to strive for perfection. There are so many pictures and many are wonderfully ideal. I look at the pictures of the fashionably dressed women I put on my Pinterest boards and they are all beautiful.
And with a “five step solution to perfect and natural curls” tutorial, it does not even seem that women like these try very hard. I do not necessarily even want to learn her ways; I am comfortable with how I do my hair already, thank you.
But every time I go on Pinterest, aren’t I essentially telling myself that I do want these different things for myself?
Telling myself that if I do this one thing, then I might be a more beautiful person on the inside, the outside, in the world?
It is cliché. I am just another woman advocating for others to be themselves and be happy with what they have, telling the world that I’m tired of this image of beauty that we’ve come up with.
But I do think that this is a message that is worth repeating several times over, at least until people start to take it seriously.
I will not go so far as to say that we should stop buying magazines or watching TV so as to protect ourselves from these terrible bombardments of the advertising industry.
It’s not even that I will stop using Pinterest (Giving it up for Lent was hard enough).
I still enjoy it and think it to be fun and relaxing, but I hope that I can look at the things and people I see on Pinterest from a distance.
I hope that I continue to take Pinterest nonseriously. It’s just a game, a compilation of ideas, perhaps even a big waste of my time.