I’m about to admit something that few red-blooded American women between the ages of 20 and 40 years old can: I’ve never used Pinterest. At least I hadn’t until I read earlier this week that the site is now valued at $3.8 billion dollars.
Maybe I should pay attention.
I don’t know why, but there’s just always been something about the endless boxes on the site that turned me off, plus I don’t really have that “trust the crowd to curate” instinct. I think the crowd is usually wrong or dumb, or I hate them and their stupid ideas.
But you have to give credit where credit is due, and $3.8 billion is a lot of credit due. So I signed myself up for a Pinterest account to see what all the
money fuss was about.
There are a lot of things I still don’t get.
Infinite scroll, you are my mortal enemy. Sometimes, the never-ending collection of content that comes with an infinite scroll feature is wonderful – who doesn’t love more stuff? When it stops and stutters like it so often does with Pinterest, only to reveal five more Star Wars bobbleheads I’ve already seen, it’s horrible. It’s like watching a movie you hate but just pushing through because maybe, maybe Eminem will show up at some point … which is what happened to me in 8th grade when I thought I rented 8 Mile and instead rented 8 MM, the Nicolas Cage movie about snuff films. Oh, sorry, did I not mention I rented this to watch with my father?! We made it about halfway through when we both decided that no, Marshall Mathers would not be making an appearance and that maybe we shouldn’t make eye contact for the rest of the day.
The search always goes on. OK so, I’m going to really give this my all. I need to get my cousin a birthday present soon, why not search Pinterest for “birthday present ideas”? I’ll tell you why not: Because this ain’t Google. Maybe I should have known better, but what about all this “Pinspiring!” and “Pinspiration!” noise everyone keeps talking about?
The vague query yielded an incredibly random assortment: A sandcastle bucket full of kids toys and candy (does … does anyone want that?); Bible verses written on what look like coasters; Jack Daniels bottles painted in glitter; a cupcake bouquet. I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore.
What do I do with this? So once I actually find something I’m interested in … what next? I can pin it … I can heart it … or I can be redirected to the site – which isn’t always a place I can buy it from, or that has instructions for buying it. Sometimes it’s a news article, or someone’s blog, or just a photo URL. Sometimes it’s something that sold out months or years ago, or isn’t even in production. And then I just feel teased.
I call B.S. on these home renovations. I’ve heard a lot about turning to Pinterest for ideas on furniture and home design. But instead of logs artfully turned into bedside tables or picture frames repurposed as mirrors, most of what I see just looks like the inside of an Ikea catalog.
Just let me pin, dammit! Alright, I’m pinning – you’ve got me, I’m a human, aren’t I? But every time I do, I get a prompt showing me where this thing was also pinned to. I don’t care! Not even a little!
Three secret boards!? What am I, a magician? How can I fit all the stuff I don’t want people to know I want into three boards?! Honestly, I want all of my boards to be secret. I want to password invite people to look at them or show them to others myself – or most likely, hide them and only access them when no one is home and the door is locked. It’s like how once you know you’re really alone for the day, you pull out the sweatpants with wine stains and just slice up a block of cheese for dinner. Things no one needs to ever know or see, under any circumstances. And I have more than three “only when alone” activities I have to hide, so I definitely need more than three secret boards. At least give me the ability to hide certain pins within the board – this all-or-nothing stuff is crap.
Here’s the thing though … even though I’m incredibly annoyed with the aforementioned issues, I finally understand Pinterest addiction. Despite all the stupid diet ads and quote blocks, I just can’t stop scrolling because what if that exact thing I’m looking for is just one more mouse click away? And then, you end up getting distracted, going in a different direction, and fueling some new obsession, until you clicked and pinned and scrolled your way into not knowing what you want or what you were even looking for.
So I get it now. I don’t like it, but I get it … and I think it got me. Damn it.