Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pinterest Creepiness Scale

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE PINTEREST. I am on it probably more than any other site except Twitter. It's just so...pretty. I love finding beautiful clothes and ideas for hair and makeup and memes and witty quotes and recipes and pictures of lightning storms and other cool stuff. There are so many things I never would have known about if it weren't for Pinterest, and in some ways it has actually made my life better. But like with all social networking, I have a "love-hate" relationship with Pinterest--and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.

There is definitely a Pinterest "culture." It is a female-dominated site and, as with anything female-dominated, it is necessary to make life look glamorous and perfect. There is nothing ugly on Pinterest. Every workout tip features a toned, ponytailed beautiful woman smiling way too widely for someone mid-burpee, every crockpot recipe is extensively photographed with a $2500 camera balanced by a housewife with a cutesy blog, and every comment underneath an armpit stain-removal technique boasts, "OMG!!! BEST THING EVER, DOING THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!!!" So. Much. Enthusiasm! Pinterest, like every other social media site, allows us to be ourselves but simultaneously refuse to acknowledge the realities of life. And it's fun, okay?!

But, as is the case with every other corner of the Internet, I regularly scroll across pins that make me cringe and/or roll my eyes. Unfortunately some elements of the female-dominated Pinterest culture include obsessions with unrealistic fantasies ("dream" weddings, "dream" homes, etc.), perpetuating annoying stereotypes, and coveting wildly expensive objects ("WANT"). This culture can make me crazy...but not so much so that I'll stop pinning! :)

In summary, here is my take on Pinterest: every pin you see falls somewhere on the scale of completely awesome to objectionably creepy. For your reading pleasure, I have outlined my personal awesome-creepy Pinterest scale, while acknowledging that the creepy stuff finds its way even onto my own boards at times:

Completely Awesome
  • Memes, Ecards, funny pictures, etc.
  • Food Porn (mostly cheesecake recipes)...right next to the "Fitness" board, where it belongs
  • Fashion, fashion, FASHION!
  • Cute animals
  • Beauty, especially makeup
  • Portraits of sexy famous people
  • "Simple" hair tutorials that are actually pretty simple
  • Devices & gadgets that make things easier/more comfortable/etc.
  • Links to blogs & useful sites
  • Gift ideas
  • Art & Photography

Kinda Cool
  • Beautiful vacation spots that you can't afford :-/
  • Crochet bathing suits that look great on the model but you'd probably never wear
  • DIY projects that are somewhat useful
  • Cheesy motivational quotes in cool fonts & colors
  • Cheesy quotes about "life" with smiley people and/or sunsets in the background
  • Workouts that you will never actually get around to doing
  • Outfit ideas that are actually pretty basic but the girl wearing it looks hot

A Little Weird
  • Mason jars? Lots and lots and lots of mason jars
  • Replace EVERYTHING with Greek yogurt
  • Parenting advice pinned by people who are actually parents (You wanna trust the Internet on this one?)
  • Fancy, expensive wedding ideas re-pinned by someone who is engaged and probably can't afford such a wedding
  • Uncomfortable family portrait poses
  • Crafts that take way too long to make
  • DIY projects that aren't actually that useful
  • Gigantic floating princess-cut diamond engagement rings

Irritating/Slightly Disturbing
  • Those long-as-hell pins that go on for like 5 pages and get in the way of all the other pins
  • Pins that get you really excited but when you click on it the 502 error message comes up saying the link is broken/spam
  • "Simple" hair tutorials that DON'T FRIGGIN WORK on my hair
  • Terrible life/relationship advice (i.e. quotes by Drake, Marilyn Monroe, and other people we should strive to be nothing like)
  • "Gender reveal" ideas? (WHAT IS A GENDER REVEAL?)
  • Random creepily, impossibly toned women

Objectionably Creepy
  • Gigantic, unrealistically luxurious homes. You can stare at that lazy river all you want but it's not gonna appear in your entryway, honey.
  • Any and all midriff-baring/topless/nude pregnancy photos
  • Parenting advice re-pinned by people single people--"Someday this will come in handy!" Yeah, when you're raising your cats.
  • Eating disorders passing as diets. "Eat only raw celery for 3 days and you'll lose 10 pounds!!! Chew sugar-free gum or smell some pound cake if you get hungry."
  • Cliche sayings that make sweeping generalizations about gender: "REAL women [look like this]"/"REAL men [do this]"
  • Fancy, expensive wedding ideas re-pinned by very, very single people
  • Tips on how to "not get raped"
  • Anything involving Taylor Swift

In my opinion, the awesome stuff makes having an account well worth it...and on some days, it's even fun to snort at the stuff that's not. I take Pinterest with the good and the bad, the awesome and the creepy, as we must with most things.

Also, you should follow me.

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