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Sunday, February 5, 2012


The internet has been all atwitter (no pun intended) about Pinterest for a few weeks now, and as per usual, I took it upon myself to get out in front of the trend to figure it out for you, both of my dear readers. Because the phrase "online corkboard" is kind of meaningless, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to figure out what the point of such a thing might be...until you've used it for yourself.

After a few weeks of intrepid testing, I'm ready to explain
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pinterest But Didn't Care Enough to Ask Because Honestly? It Sounded Kinda Dumb

First things first: It's not actually that dumb. Pinterest, like pretty much everything else on the internet, is as dumb as you allow it to be. It can be put to good use for planning things, collecting ideas, finding book/recipe/movie recommendations, etc. But Pinterest, like pretty much everything else on the internet, is also heavily abused and misused by morons. For the most part, these morons are harmless, and some are even amusing! I believe the key is knowing what to expect going in. To that end, I've created some handy descriptions of the most common pins you'll find on the ol' homepage:
Blue Balls for Crafters: This is one of the funnest games on Pinterest, in which someone finds a really cool/cute/fun/quirky project and posts a picture with a comment like "DIY cold fusion! Neat project for the kids!", but because they've pinned the picture from Google Images (rather than any kind of instructional page), you will never ever figure out how to actually do the damn project, ever. Find the one where you knit a beard for your baby and show your favorite crafter and watch her rip her hair out! Neat project for the kids!
Memes: Pinterest is ground zero for memes. One of the most common is this bizarre thing where Ryan Gosling's face gets pasted behind something that starts with "Hey girl..." and ends with some supposed fantasy man phrase, usually about how awesome her hair looks or how much he loves shoe shopping with her. This is officially stupid until it looks like this:

Wedding Porn: OH MY DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN ENOUGH WITH THE WEDDING PORN! Pictures of brides, pictures of veils, pictures of hair, pictures of seating, pictures of wedding cakes, pictures of dancing couples, pictures of tuxes, pictures of lighting ideas, pictures of invitations... STOP. JUST STOP. Oh, and let's not forget the most common of the wedding porn pics:

It would be one thing if it was primarily pics that said "This is my engagement ring!" But most of them say something more like "I want this to be my ring someday!" LADIES! THE RING IS NOT THE REASON WE GET MARRIED! WRITE IT DOWN! And just to be clear: I'm not hating on the women who are planning their actual weddings, for which they already have a groom lined up - my issue is with all (and there are A LOT OF THEM) the teenage (or younger) girls who are investing all this time and effort into compiling ideas for their ideal wedding. Trust me on this, girls: you need to find the guy first. He's kind of important and finding him WON'T be the easy part. I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT HERE.
Depressing Bucket List Crap: The "Bucket List Board" is very popular, and not a bad idea! Some of them are full of genuinely awesome ideas like this one:

And some of them are more like this:

I can no longer find my all-time favorite, but thankfully I found it shocking enough to save to my drive when I first saw it:
Really? REALLY? Is that an "achievement" or a "biological coincidence"?
Half-Naked Women: The interesting thing about the half-naked women is to note whether they were posted by men or women. Women post WAY more half-naked lady pictures than men do, and where the men are posting with a note like "she's hot" or "gorgeous!", the women's remarks are more along the lines of "I wish I had her [fill in body part here]" or "I WILL be this thin", etc. Basically, the men are making deposits to the wank bank, but the women are using these images to remind themselves of everything that's wrong...with themselves. C'mon, girls, get it together.
Psychologically Damaging Quotes About Thinness: This really just follows on from the above.

Yes. Hey, are you gonna eat that cake, Skinny McStarvingson?
I'm all in favor of health, and Lord knows I could afford to lose a few pounds. But I worry about the mindset of someone who trawls the internet all day looking for images and quotes with which to beat him/herself up for being fat.
Pictures of Fried Food/Pictures of Desserts: Just for the sake of irony, you'll often find these flanking the thinness quotes on the homepage. But you have to look quickly in order to see it before your head explodes.
Simple Wisdom: Not "simple" like "homespun profundities"; "simple" like "idiotic nonsense". There are a lot of meme-generators on the web these days, and there is no IQ test to prevent morons from using them. As a result, you will periodically find pins featuring a generic stock photo in the background, and a really profound observation like "sometimes people will be mean to you even though you like them". And you will think to yourself, "Someone on this planet actually had nothing better to do than spend their time creating that. We should reinstate conscription."

All of this said, Pinterest does not have to be a huge waste of your time, so long as you understand from the very beginning that a lot of it is useless. Like all social media, the problem with Pinterest is: people. But you can get on there yourself and make it better! Pin something useful! Or at least something funny! See if you find something other than breasts and knitting patterns on the internet! I know there is more out there! Let's find it together! SPECIAL BONUS FUN: If you think you're up to the challenge and you want a Pinterest invite, feel free to shoot me an email (see link on the ride sidebar) with your email address, and I'll send one along :)

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