A Blogger’s Thoughts On Life In The Pinterest Perfect Era

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Pinterest Perfection

Not so much about pumpkin recipes, cookies or salted caramel, but about life.   Life in the Pinterest Perfect Era to be exact.   I’ve had some thoughts floating through my head lately, and after reading the post on Scary Mommy called “Taking Back Halloween” I thought I’d go out on a limb share those thoughts.   Sort of a behind the blog heart to heart between you and me, sharing some of my secrets if you will.

Pinterest Perfect

First, let’s get something out of the way.  I love Pinterest.  As a blogger and as a user, it’s all kinds of awesome.  Crafts, recipes, home decor, parenting, fashion, inspiration, DIY – it’s all right there, constantly changing, updating and adding great new ideas to our radars.  In many ways it’s almost become the new search engine, if you need a chocolate cake recipe, Pinterest has you covered.  Need potty training advice?  That’s there too!  Want to build a dog bed?  Take your Pinterest pick.  Decorate a nursery?  Oh honey, there’s a million pins for that.  Heck, a boyfriend can even plan the perfect surprise wedding on Pinterest.  It’s got it all.  And it’s all gorgeous, amazing and Pinterest Perfect.

Pinterest is all kinds of awesome,
dipped in glitter and covered in sprinkles.

But… (you knew that was coming, right?)

It’s also kind of overwhelming sometimes.  Or maybe that’s just my ADHD talking.  You go looking for that chocolate cake recipe and the next thing you know, you have two ideas for Easter, some projects for the backyard, Sweet 16 Birthday ideas (for your toddler), stocking stuffer ideas, words of wisdom, a way to make bread in your slow cooker, the perfect leg workout, a better way to organize your closet, and 17 new ways to braid your hair.   Wait, what cake?  What was I doing?  What time is it?

Pinterest Perfect Life

And, between you and me, it can kind of make even the most crafty and creative person feel a bit, well, intimidated.  I mean, holy heck, it’s like an endless black (or polka dot and gold chevron striped) hole of amazing creativity.  I mean you can’t actually reach the end of Pinterest, can you?  I think I did once, but I’m pretty sure that was in 2010.

Pinterest - Killing Self Esteem

I remember a time, before the days of Pinterest, when you could certainly find a lot of awesome and creative ideas on the internet.  Or in books and magazines.  Those great ideas have always been there.  I think what has changed is in today’s digital world, those ideas come at lightening speed are just an icon tap on a smart phone away from showing up in our world, staring at us, and sometimes making us feel like what we do might not measure up.  Like we can’t keep up.   The cute idea we had for something all of the sudden pales in comparison to what we see on Pinterest.  Our idea was cute, but boy oh boy, Pinterest Perfect it was not.  There’s no ignorance is bliss.  We now know what every other mom might be making for the class party and wow, maybe we need to step up our game.

Pinterest App Anytime

In one little push of that Pinterest icon on your phone while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, all of the sudden you realize that people are BOO-ing their friends and neighbors with amazing gift baskets, handmade goodies, darling signs and it’s all perfectly packaged.   And they are the cutest things EVER.  And oh my word, you haven’t boo-ed anyone.  You haven’t been boo-ed.  You barely know what the kids are going to be for Halloween and wait, you haven’t even thought about buying candy.

Moms On Pinterest

Yeah.  That happens.  At least to me.  A lot.  And the real kicker, I am one of those people who has created and shared those little packages and printables for boo-ing that you see on Pinterest.

In the blink of an eye and flash of the screen, I can go from feeling like a rock star because I managed to find and pull out a hand me down Halloween t-shirt from Target to dress my daughter in, when it is actually seasonally appropriate (no judgement when you see her in it in April please), and the next thing you know, I am painfully aware of all of the darling things I could do.  All of the darling things I’d like to do.  But all of the things that I really have neither the time, money, energy or skill to do.  And I’m going to guess I’m not the only one who has had moments and felt that way.

PinterestAnd you know what, THAT IS OKAY.
Life doesn’t have to be Pinterest Perfect.

As a baking blogger, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m pinning my recipes on there.  It’s an amazing way to share my recipes with my current readers and connect with new ones.  Those are recipes that I put a lot of time and work into.  Recipes that I use professional photo equipment to capture images of.   Recipes that I then edit the photos of in not one but two photo editing software programs.  Creating those Pinterest Perfect projects and photos is part my job, part of how I make my living, as it is for many other bloggers, crafters, decorators, cooks and bakers.  And truth be told, many of us pay attention to what is trending on Pinterest, we evaluate our Pin-reach using analytics tools,  we make sure our photos are cropped to a size that  optimized for Pinterest and some bloggers even schedule their pins to maximize how many people see them.  So in a nutshell, we are busy little bees creating not only Pinterest Perfect, but perfecting how the Pinterest Perfect is presented.

MjAxMy1lNmQyMGJkYzFiNDc3MGRjCreating Pinterest Perfect is a part of the job.  But at least for me, what you see is a teeny tiny pixel on the big picture of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain that there are people who have it together to the point that their life is Pretty Pinterest Perfection.  But personally, this blogger wants you to know that often what you see on Pinterest is the best and the brightest work of creative individuals.  It’s a tiny dot on a big picture.

I think it’s important to remember not to compare someone’s best work (and often by work, I mean actual earn a living work) to our day to day lives.   I look at the ah-mazing children’s birthday parties on Pinterest and I am wowed, blown away, inspired and overwhelmed, all at once.  Truth be told my three year old didn’t have a third birthday party.  Or a second.   But she’s loved, she’s happy and I take her to 9-10 therapy appointments every single week.  There’s nothing Pinterest Perfect about sitting in speech therapy.  There isn’t anything glittery and cute to share from occupational therapy.  I can’t put a pin in any of those.  But I’m pretty sure that those are the things in life that impact her world and her future, far more than a Pinterest Perfect Party (that I never managed to throw, despite my pinning and planning).

So when we see all of that Pinterest Perfection, I think it’s important to realize how many awesome, amazing, regular day to day things we do, that will never get pinned, repinned or look pretty online.   I’m pretty sure you do a whole heck of a lot of awesome, though not really pinnable, stuff each and every day.  And you rock it.  

Know that some of us who create (or try to create) Pinterest Perfect, we aren’t living Pinterest Perfect, just sharing a pin of it.  Behind at least some of the Pinterest Perfect you see like this…

Cinnamon Rolls On PinterestYou don’t see what’s just a foot away from the camera.  And it often looks like this…

Pinterest Behind The Scenes

As I said, I love Pinterest.  I have no plans to stop pinning, repinning and falling in love with fabulous new ideas.  But remember, Pinterest Perfect is not everything. And that’s okay.

Comments

  1. says

    I agree. Many times I find myself comparing myself to other blogger or pinners who have more followers and better stats and prettier blogs and thinking “What am I doing wrong?” In our society of online everything and someone always seeming to be one step ahead of you it’s hard to not compare yourself. I love pinterest and blogging and have learned so many things and meet some amazing people but it’s also important to remember what make you unique. My gifts, although different are just and helpful as another person’s gifts. If we all had the same gifts we would be much less fun. Great post

  2. says

    So well said!! I try to be Pinterest Perfect…for my job. In real life? Um, no. My house is a mess, my Halloween mantle looks like a 3 year old slapped it up last minute, and I’m just lucky my daughter has had her costume for months.

    Love this post!

    • says

      Dorothy – so true! And never mind the fact that normally we are completely over the holidays by the time they roll around. Wasn’t Halloween two months ago? Oh, no, wait, that’s us! :)

  3. says

    My photos are a million miles from perfect, but people still repin them. They might be crazy. I pretend that they just don’t mind that I took a horrible photo. I think we might put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes.

    • says

      Renee, I don’t think your photos are a million miles from perfect! And at the end of the day, what is in that photo is what I think really matters to people. Somedays I think taking the photo is the easy part, coming up with what’s in it – that can be tough! You have such great variety in what you do, and I think that’s something that people will always love. :)

  4. says

    Very well said! I too find myself flitting away hours on end looking around at Pinterest, feeling less than creative. When I began blogging three years ago, I felt my ideas were so original, now it’s practically impossible to publish something that is unique, because millions of people out there are creating Pinterest Perfect projects. While it has become an amazing resource, Pinterest has also become a land of plenty, where bloggers see just how much competition there is out there. How many crafters, cooks and party planners are hoping to create the next best thing to grab a small slice of the internet pie? Too many!

    We do have to realize though that all of these bloggers creating amazing pinnable projects have a pile of junk sitting next to their photography station. They all have loads of laundry that have been ignored so they can take the perfectly lighted picture of their cake. They all skip out on exercising, reading, and cooking dinner to plan that over the top party. It’s hard to keep ourselves from comparing our work to others. It’s what drives us to be more creative. Your work is amazing and I’m sure, like me, you’d love to have more time to do it all. But, we all need balance and family comes first. Enjoy yours!

    • says

      Beth – I am right there with you! I went through a phase where any idea I’d come up with, I’d scour the internet to see if it had been done, mainly because I didn’t want to step on any toes, things like that. I quickly realized it has pretty much all been done, and done amazingly, and it was really defeating. I was driving myself insane, and it was sucking the joy out of doing this. I had to decide one day that if I think something up in my mind, and know I came up with it organically, that’s what’s important, and to make it and enjoy it.

      And yes, yes and yes to the piles of junk and loads of laundry! I’m definitely in a time of trying to learn to balance better. Working from home is that double edged sword, it’s the best, but it’s a challenge for balance. I’m learning that I can’t hold myself to a standard of what anyone else is doing. I’d love to be able to make and share more recipes and ideas, but at the end of the day, taking care of my girls and getting my little one all of the help and therapies she needs are the top priority, and I’m so blessed to be able to work in a way that allows me to do it all. Well, maybe not all, there is that laundry. :) I’m learning to live with that.

  5. says

    Preach on, Christi! I couldn’t agree with you more here. Pinterest is an amazing tool for us bloggers, but it’s so easy to get lost in the Pin-World. Aside from the delicious recipes that I find out there, Pinterest always gives me ideas for photography. (The only trouble comes when I think I’ve taken some awesome shots of my latest brownies or other creation…only to go over to Pinterest and find so many other more amazing shots.) Oh well…it’s a great tool still. This post captured my feelings exactly…thanks!

    • says

      David, that’s exactly it! Sometimes I want to be able to use it with blinders on, and just be happy with whatever we’ve created. It’s interesting reading some of my readers feedback on Facebook, I definitely think as content creators we are far more critical of work then others ever are. It is great for photo ideas. I love taking photos, but composing them – not so much! :)

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing this down to earth story. You’re right. Pinterest can become almost obsessive if I’m not careful. Really, how many different pumpkin desserts do I really need? 200? Seriously! I think as I’ve gotten older I’m starting to realize I don’t have to be perfect at everything. Sometimes it’s okay to leave the house a wreck and go out on the back porch, sit on the swing, and just catch my breath and reflect on how good I have it compared to so many in third-world countries. This has been a good reminder for me that my food blog picture doesn’t have to be perfect. And if every other food blogger has a better picture than mine (and they probably do), that’s okay too. Life is bigger than that! Thanks for your honesty. Perhaps I need to set a time limit for Pinterest and Bloglovin’ every day! :-) Thanks again. This has been a great read.

    • says

      Thank you so much for sharing Teresa. I’m really trying to learn to go sit on that swing, and I won’t lie, it’s a struggle. I’ve always been the type A, always had it totally together, always really in control of my world. The addition of our second daughter, who has special needs, has changed that. It’s been a steep learning curve and I haven’t been very good at it to be honest. I’m trying to accept that I can’t do it all, I won’t have it all together and I control VERY little, and that all of that is OKAY. That I am doing what matters most each day, which on Monday for example is four therapy appointments. Getting one kid to school, the other to four appointments in two different locations, being involved in and learning from those therapies to apply them at home, picking the older one up, feeding everyone, going over homework – that’s a pretty full day. I need to go sit on that swing sometime during that day, not try and shove more into those spare moments. It’s sometimes hard to see so much awesome creativity out there and not want to jump in and springboard off ideas. But sitting on that swing, that may be the best possible choice for everyone. :) Thank you!

  7. says

    OMG…. are you kidding? I have been up since 1AM writing my blog about some great Halloween finds on the WWW and getting ready to email you to ask permission to use you and your fabulous site in my blog (proper credits given of course) when I went back to get your email address, I saw your new post and just had to LOL. All morning I was writing and searching for a few cool places to talk about and started feeling overwhelmed! I knew your site was a must if I got permission but I started looking at Christmas, Thanksgiving and how in the heck did I get on Easter projects? I totally forgot what I was doing, plus I had cookies in the oven and getting my recipes rounded up for the day all while downloading 100 pictures of olive tapenade. We all know you have to take 100 pics to get 2 great ones (or at least passable).
    So well said Christi, and if you don’t mind, I’d love to use your site in my blog!

    • says

      Tina, haha, I soooo get it! I end up on Easter a lot. In the fall. And other total randomness that is NOT on the agenda of the day, but by then I’ve forgotten what the heck the agenda of the day even was! :) Glad it’s not just me. And yes, you are fine to share some of my stuff, thank you.

  8. says

    I rote a post on this a while back too! My “Craft room’ is also my office…which is also my gift wrapping room….and sometimes my ironing board — it’s my dining room table! I think it’s great to day dream & aspire to incorporate some things into our homes or to strive to improve what we have….but when I heard there was actually a “pin envy disorder’, I thought wow, we really need to give ourselves a break! When we try so hard to be perfect or compare ourselves to others, we really miss the chance to enjoy life to the fullest!

  9. Annette says

    Christi – thank you for sharing this post today. I love people who are able to be “real”. Hugs and blessings,

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