What's real to a generation who has seen firsthand that hard work does not necessarily lead to success or good fortune, that the government can in no way be trusted or relied upon to govern its own people, and who are immune to fear of disease and bad health, because if they let it in, they'd spend every waking WebMD-given minute in their hermetically sealed beds.
FAME BEEECHEZ! Disappointing, right? But, like it or not, it's real when so much else in the world has showed itself to be other than advertised. And I'm going to do it, everyone. I'm going to get real (*Pinterest) famous. Ay, there's the rub. Because if you know me, you know that damn near the last thing in the world I would want is to be face/name recognizable by street civilians. Sometimes even thinking of being Instagram or Blog famous cues my stomach to make weird whirring noises of discomfort. But Pinterest, on the other hand, I could be real into that. Here's why. (WARNING: If you don't like Pinterest you may want to close this window, also I don't get you).
I've been a huge fan of Pinterest since I was turned on to it in 2009 or so. And though it gets teased and derided (by buzzfeed mind you) as something that people who puffy paint mugs and love Jane the Virgin do, I'll just say this: Jane the Virgin is a great show, and sub the puffy paint for some modge podge and glitter, and I'm all the way in again. Call me regressive. But there's a deeper function of Pinterest, that the uninitiated don't understand.
1. Pinterest is not simply user generated content
(Less Instagram, more bubble format Tumblr )
2. Pinterest is a visual spreadsheet and an elegant link dump
(Evernote with captions )
1. The easiest way to get involved in Pinterest is by looking through your recommended pins and choosing your favorites or any one that captures your interest, and saving them to a board (recipes, fuzzy dice, favorite comic books). But if you're just following the majority of Pinners, you'll be drawn toward majority interests which will be crafts, weddings, hairstyles, healthy low-fat workouts and painless flab-busting diets. It's an inch away from straight spam. I can see the hurdles. BUT, with just a few minutes of work, you can follow inspiring people (artists, photographers, tech bloggers, chefs) and more importantly, you can follow single boards which get way more specific and less Prevention Magazine than you'd imagine (colorful socks, color shots of WWII, cauliflower stocks, and witch potions). You can also unfollow any board that doesn't suit your fancy just as you should unfollow every single person who makes you feel weird on Facebook. Both decisions will open up a whole new world for you. And if in either instance you come to think, "there's not enough things to scroll over mindlessly now!", I'll remind you you can always...
2. Make your own. You can pin anything. Everything you're pinning within the app, was made by individuals who are not afraid to do the work of making pins (for the record, I can't imagine anything easier than clicking the little red button at the top left of any picture on any page of the internet, choosing a board and hitting pin). Yes some people are photoshopping incredibly tall images with text lead ins. Those people are making money off a blog or a business. They're making pins that serve as ads. As a regular Jill Pinner, you don't have to pin those, and you don't have to make pins like those.
If you make your own pins, the site/app becomes a way for you to organize and keep track of influences, ideas, videos, articles, anything on the internet. If you're a visual artist or a visual person or just somebody like me who loves to collect things but is just so damn, dirt poor, firecrackers should be going off inside bells hanging from your head. Here's where Pinterest is to this day still under-utilized. Most people want nothing to do with creating content even if it is just clicking twice and possibly typing a few identifying words (or unless it meets a mutual need of sharing a picture, usually of oneself). And this is why Pinterest looks like Martha Stewart Magazine more than it looks like Instagram. It was always meant to be an inspiration board, but because of which professionals bought into it's potential early (food/fashion bloggers, said Martha Stewart, home goods stores) and which ones didn't (home improvement, technology experts, whatever things "men" are into) it turned it into the inside of a middle schooler's locker.
Here's where I hope to step in (not as a man). I am a visual person, an artist, a collector, and someone with a pretty spotty memory. Pinterest checks all my boxes. Including this. On Pinterest you are judged for your taste. There are none of the weird FOMO feelings of Instagram or life-measuring of Facebook. It's not as emotional as reading the news, or as guilty-giddy as watching cute internet videos. It's surrounding yourself with things that interest and inspire you. Finding people who pin things that interest and inspire you. And most importantly there's no real power to it. No despots, no way to waver into political radicalism, because at the end of the day, it's just a photo wall. And that's a pretty exceptional thing.
So I'm making this VERY IMPORTANT DECLARATION to become Pinterest famous before I die.
If you want to see my boards or follow me I won't stop you, and then you can say you followed me when.
All Images, you guess it, from my Pinterest. As you probably also guessed, no, I didn't do much of anything this week.
Also, another defense of Pinterest.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.