When I’m at a bit of a loose end I quite like flicking through a magazine. I haven’t got time to get involved in a good book, I just want to be a bit distracted by looking at some pretty clothes, something funny, a nice kitchen, or a new recipe. I don’t take it too seriously and it is just something to fill a moment of quiet between one thing and the next. Trouble is, I don’t often buy magazines so I don’t usually have any to hand. That’s why I like Pinterest; it’s an easily accessible, ever updating magazine.
I’ve started to notice a few problems with it though. Firstly, it works like pornography. Those who talk about the effects of pornography say that although it isn’t technically infidelity, by thinking about someone other than your significant other you think about having someone else, you compare what you have with what you could have, you see other people having better things than what you have and you start to feel dissatisfied with what you have and then you feel unhappy. Pinterest does the same thing; you go from “That’s a pretty bedroom” to “It’s prettier than my bedroom” to “Why does she get to have that pretty bedroom?” to “I hate my bedroom”. Now, I love my home; we’ve lived there for nearly twenty years; it’s the home my husband and I have made for and with our two children and it contains more than just the stuff we own. Of course I would change things if I could, but it works well enough and actually I can't be bothered with constant home improvement. But I’m noticing a little worm gnawing at my contentment with it. Pinterest! I’m watching you! I do not need a villa on a Spanish Island, or a free standing bath with spa jets.
The second thing I’ve noticed is the cute sentiments that get propagated around it in no time! Things like this:
Really people? Is that true or is it just a way to make someone feel better about not having the courage to sort out something in an honourable way that doesn’t destroy other people in the process?
Or this one:
Are you sure??? What sort of sick, masochistic God do you follow??? Please explain the theology of this?
And don't get me started on what people do with scripture!!! Look at this:
Totally ignoring what the verse is actually about, justifying bad behaviour and worshiping the God of pulling yourself up by your own efforts!
Maybe we should actually analyse what the outworkings of these sentiments are before we scatter them around…the more they spread around the more people tend to view them as truth. As I finally reach the stage of Grumpy Old Woman-ness I’m getting a bit outspoken about it. If you follow me on Pinterest I’ve started a board called Things to Question. Even if nobody else reads it, it makes me feel like I’m asking myself some important questions about what I’m seeing.
And finally, a big bee in my bonnet: so many images of women looking either like skeletons or like freaky body builders, with lots of exhortations to perform 3000 jumping jacks so I can look the same. Occasionally images appear of curvier women, but sadly they are usually connected to dodgy sites! Why are we doing this to ourselves? Isn’t it enough that men do it to us, and increasing to themselves as well! Let's have more of this:
I’m not even going to start on American understandings of cooking* but suffice it to say that I’m looking at Pinterest in a more thoughtful way these days.
*No! Opening 3 jars and adding them to a can of ready made “Biscuit Dough” does not constitute cooking from scratch. And NO! reducing the number of ingredients by using packets and jars does not make it a good recipe!