Hi there. Can we chat?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.