5 ways Pinterest is Stealing from You | WILDLY LIMITLESS

5 ways Pinterest is Stealing from You

Over time I've realized some important things  and those things are 5 ways Pinterest is stealing from you!

A few years ago my friend sent me an excited text about a new website. I had never heard of it before and was immediately intrigued. I wanted to know more as I held the phone in my hand and waited for her to reply to my text. My phone chimed again. I opened her message and it read," It's called Pinterest. It's a virtual online mood board type of thing and it's by invite only! Just send me your e-mail and I'll invite you!" As a DIY  and home decor blogger I knew this was something I had to see for myself. I am always looking for new things to blog about, people to feature and things to inspire my next DIY project so I thought what would I have to lose? I typed in my email address on my phone  and hit send. I waited and a few minutes later I had received an e-mail stating that I was invited to Pinterest. I hurriedly grabbed my laptop, sat down at the kitchen table and opened up my e-mail again. I thought to myself, I wonder what this whole Pinterest thing is about? I then clicked the link provided in my e-mail and created my very first Pinterest account.

Once I opened  up the main page my eyes grew wider. What is this? There were unlimited projects, amazing photos, tutorials, recipes, travel, beauty and basically everything under the sun. I fidgeted with it for a bit and finally figured out how to "pin" something I wanted to one of my freshly created boards. That moment, that exact second in time that I hit "pin," changed my life forever. Now you may be thinking, "Oh come on, why are you being so dramatic?" I'm not being dramatic, I'm telling the truth and millions of you know what I'm talking about.

From that moment on I was addicted. I craved to see beautiful inspiring things. I created boards for future projects, boards for interior design inspiration, boards for new recipes to try along with many others. Everyday I would get onto the website and pin away. Soon before I knew it, and even to this day I started recognizing some things about Pinterest that weren't as glamorous as it seems. I would spend countless hours perusing the gorgeous pictures, gathering future plans and wasting the night away in hopes that one day I could actually cross each one of those pins off my to do list.

Now, after being a part of Pinterest for some years now, I've learned a lot. I've went through many cycles of a love hate relationship with that app on my phone to downright deleting it. I'm sure many of you feel the same way. I'm also sure many of you can relate to exactly what I'm about to say about it. Now, hear me out. I'm not against Pinterest at all. It is an amazing place to be inspired. Just don't let that inspiration create jealousy and inadequacy within your heart.  You are warned.

Here are five ways Pinterest is stealing from you.

1. TIME.
I know I'm not the only one who would spend countless minutes scrolling the Pinterest screen. Minutes would then turn into hours and by the time you pulled away from the screen 4 hours had passed. I would put my three children to bed at night, hop in my bed or plop on the couch while my husband watched sports and I would browse and then browse some more until my hearts content. I like the meme of the frazzled little stick figure with a fist in the air shouting," MUST PIN ALL THINGS!" It's true. At any given moment, if I had any free time, I would open the app, scroll for a bit, pin things and then on to the next task in my life. Pretty soon, my face was attached to any sort of screen scrolling and I was neglecting valuable time with my family and friends. In my mind I was pinning all things to create a better life for myself and my family. I was "investing" that time to find healthy recipes to feed my kids, and beautiful ways to make my house a home. In the eyes of  kids, those things do not matter. All they want is for you to spend time with them. They want to play. They don't care about if their dinner looks like it came out of a magazine. They love mac and cheese just as much and they love you and the time you spend with them even more. The lesson that I learned here is that invest time into your kids and husband. Not the computer screen. You will waste away your life looking at beautifully staged homes and photos and not even pay attention while your kids are growing up right in front of you. Relationships are more important than screen time.

This goes along with time. Laying in bed late at night and browsing steals your sleep. You could end up staying up until  2 AM in a state of a trance. By then all the pins start blending together, you can't keep your eyes open anymore and  you are forced to put the screen away. You then lay there with your eyes closed and your mind racing a million miles per minutes thinking of all the pins you just saw. You think about all the ways you could decorate your guest bathroom. What color scheme and trends are hot right now. What recipes you want to try for dinner the next day and what amazingly talented handmade gift you could make for someone you know. 4 hours later your alarm goes off to get ready for work and the kids ready and off to school. You get out of bed still half asleep, regretting all that time you spent on Pinterest. Now you are grumpy from the lack of sleep. You don't have the energy to make those Pinterest inspired bento box lunches for the kids and you slap some peanut butter and jelly on some bread, throw in a juice box and a little bag of grapes and call it good. You're too tired to give the day your best. You're even too tired to do all those things you pinned. When you lack sleep you don't give things your best. The most important people in your life, like your kids, need you at your best. The no sleep thing trickles all the way to having enough energy to make it through the day, let alone play hide and seek with your children. We weren't created to survive. We were created to thrive.

3. JOY
Comparison is the thief of Joy. Pinning all those gorgeous things are inspiring. You spend all that time day dreaming of a better "Pinterest Perfect" life. You see perfectly decorated homes, organized pantries and organized toys. Beautiful cakes and handmade teachers gifts. You are constantly filling your eyes with perfection. Now as you go about your day doing laundry, cleaning up the messes and cooking you look around your home and it doesn't even compare to the photos you pinned. You are left feeling sad.. You spend all of your days comparing your home and yourself to what you see on Pinterest.

Let me tell you right now. Pinterest is a facade. It's an illusion. I'm a blogger. I know. We stage our photos to make them the best. We add in an expensive camera, lighting and Photoshop to create gorgeous photos of those staged areas of our home to show you the project we just created. Little do you know there are gold fish cracker crumbs on the floor, with a toddler in her underwear and bed head hair is sitting on the floor behind you watching cartoons. Or even a HUGE pile of laundry that never gets folded because we are constantly cranking out tutorials is stacked on the floor while snapping the beautiful pictures. Bloggers aren't perfect. Our homes aren't perfect. You see only what we want you to see. We are just normal women like you trying to get through the day. Please don't ever think you are less than just because your home isn't perfect. Your home is where you take care of your family and that is special. No matter what it looks like. So, be happy with what you have and find joy in the little things because there is beauty in that.

 This is THE biggest Pinterest problem. When you are constantly comparing yourself to perfection or the illusion of perfection it is going to drain you. It will suck out all of your self esteem, all of the joy and put you in a state of depression because you feel inadequate. You compare yourself to the skinny girl who pinned her diet tips, you compare your wardrobe to the fashion bloggers closet. You compare your hair and makeup to the beauty blogger. Do you see what I'm saying? As you pin each pin, you are saying, I don't look like this, my house doesn't look like this, I don't dress like this and I wish I could do this. It doesn't mean that it's not attainable. It just simply means you are saying I wish I was like her, I wish I had that, I wish my house looked like that because you are comparing yourself to those things. You compare your home, your crafts, your clothes, jewelry and makeup. You don't have the plates arranged with gorgeous food. Your photos aren't as great as the "pin worthy" pictures.
 Your home isn't spotless and clutter free like the pictures we see on there. Everything isn't organized gorgeously and in it's place.You have a "junk drawer" and there's no secret that I do too!

I'm constantly comparing the way my home is decorated and I'm one of those inspiring Pinterest girls! I change, change and change some more to strive for Pinterest perfection. Do people come over to look at my home or for dinner parties everyday? No. So why I am stressing over all these things?

It's because I feel like there is always something to do better because everyone else is doing things better. It's just a vicious cycle. It's because I don't feel good enough. Pinterest is stealing valuable things from me. I'm comparing every little detail in my life and now I'm left feeling unworthy.

There are so many projects, pictures and ideas on Pinterest that people's originality gets buried underneath all of it. So many girls are creating the same types of projects, decorating with the same type of home decor. Thats why you see the same types of projects getting pinned to every board. We get spun into a vicious cycle of copying instead of being inspired. So this results in people doing the same things over and over and then every home looks the same. They are dressing the same and all of their homemade gifts are the same. Oh thanks for another mason jar gift says the 5th grade teacher as she places it on her desk with the 5 other ones. See what I mean? We lose ourselves. We know what style we like but everyone else is doing it too so we are no longer being original and we look like copycats. We are creating a world of want to be Stepford wives. We want to decorate our homes just like that big blogger and her amazing home instead of truly creating a look all of our own. I'm guilty of this too. We need to start thinking outside of the box and base our wants on what WE truly want instead of trying to impress others because we want to  look like we have a "Pinterest" life.

This struck a cord with me while I was designing my home that is currently being built. I wanted beautiful sleek dark kitchen cabinets with amazing hardware. I immediately thought it wouldn't be popular when I pin it on Pinterest. People want to see white cabinets paired with subway tile. I wouldn't be in the "in" crowd. I had to think things through because the Pinterest world weighed so heavily on my mind. After thinking about it for a long time, I realized that I needed to be myself. I need to choose what I want to choose. Not what everyone else would choose for me. With that said, I chose dark sleek kitchen cabinets and I'm not looking back. I'm going to be me and I'm going to go against the grain. It's OK to be different. It's OK to not follow the shabby chic farmhouse trend overloaded with chevron, yellow and aqua or even chippy paint everything. You can jump off the train and explore new things. Be who YOU want to be. Do what makes YOU happy. Most importantly be unique in a world of copycats.

After thinking long and hard, I SAID STOP! I've decided to make better choices when it comes to my time, my sleep, my joy, my self esteem, and my originality. We are good enough and Pinterest and the media shouldn't determine what is beautiful, what is acceptable and what I need to do with myself and my home. They shouldn't set any standards for me. YOU should choose your own standards and do what makes YOU happy. Not everyone else scrolling Pinterest.

I encourage you today to be who you want to be. Be original. Think outside of the box. Love yourself for who you are. Spend more time with your family. Invest in yourself by getting more sleep and be happy with what you have. My motto will always be, "Your home doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful." It's true. The things that matter that most aren't even things at all so take a break from Pinterest or cut back and refocus your eyes to the beauty around you instead of on the screen.


Angela Tolsma said...

It is amazing how every couple of years a new website comes out that steals all of this from us and we don't even notice! Great Pos!

Stephanie said...

This is so true. Then as a blogger I will see ideas that I do have, thinking it is original, and see someone else doing it. It def is a hit the self esteem. Thanks for sharing

Crystal said...

Agree with all of this! I am soooooo not a stepford wife because I am drawn to dark woods, dark reds, and coppery tones. I think no one will press like or pin it, but I've got to stop!