I recently read an article about how the media pits women against each other (namely thin vs. curvy) as one being the ‘ideal’ while the other is ‘unhealthy’. As a matter of fact, I HIGHLY suggest you read the whole thing-it’s really good. I know, I know, I hate reading long articles online too; but, trust me, it’s worth it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lexie-kite/fitspiration-isnt-inspirational_b_1524706.html
The article focuses mainly on the new trend of ‘fitspiration’. If you’re on Pinterest at all, you’ve undoubtably seen photos pinned of a woman’s torso reading something like ‘PUSH yourself, nobody else will do it for you!’ As stated in the article, these types of images often don’t exactly inspire, but make the viewer feel shame and guilt over their own body and self-image. Self-loathing. I would like to take it a step further and say….well….that’s Pinterest in general. Whether it’s a gorgeous fully stocked kitchen, DIY mason jar string lights, perfectly staged family photos, or thighs that don’t touch, the bulk of ‘pins’ on users’ boards are unattainable dreams that do little more than make us wish our lives were like that. Let’s face it, Pinterest can make us feel bad about ourselves and our ‘inadequate’ lives. The thing is, I it makes me feel shame sometimes to say that I still love Pinterest. I’m telling you…my cooking has really kicked it up a notch. Being an ex-pat, I’ve even been able to find some copy-cat recipes for those times I miss home. I’ve had great cleaning and parenting and gardening tips that have really improved the way we work things around this house. There are still so many benefits. I think I’ve been able to navigate my way through Pinterest without hating myself thanks to a few simple rules I set up for myself. Maybe they can help you too.
RULE 1: ONLY PIN THINGS THAT ARE REALISTIC AND ATTAINABLE
As amazing as the pictures are of the backyard pool that looks like a river…I will never, ever in my life have that. I won’t pin it to my ‘Dream Home’ board, because I don’t have a ‘Dream Home’ board. I do have a board of house stuff like the bunk beds we want to build for our boys when they’re a bit bigger. Stuff that is realistic and we 100% fully plan to do.
RULE 2: MAKE A HABIT OF REGULARLY COMPLETING & DELETING PINS
Thanks to what I like to consider mild OCD when it comes to organizing, I have an almost obsessive habit with organizing my boards. The feeling of deleting a pin after completing it is so ridiculously satisfying to me. I have a general guideline of trying to complete at least one pin a week. If it’s a not-so-busy time (summer holidays, etc), I’ll try to do at least one meal and one other pin a week. Being proactive and actually completing goals helps take the ‘self-loathing’ out of Pinterest, because you’re actually doing things.
RULE 3: PIN ONLY WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Make sure you have a healthy outlook on life and what matters. Having a baby? Great! Pinterest is full of the latest baby gear, maternity fashion, kid’s fashion, nursery trends, how to lose baby weight, etc. On the other hand, it is also full of great tips for how to prepare for labour, how to adjust to your new life as a mother, how to care for your body post-birth, and great activities to do with kids of all ages. What is going to make you a better mother, have a better pregnancy/birth experience, and give you and your child a more fulfilling relationship? Pin those things. And adapt to every part of your life (house, children/family, health fitness, etc)
There are probably more rules that can be added, but those are the basic ones to keep me grounded. And I know that this post is focused primarily towards women, while men do have some of the same behaviours on Pinterest as women. The difference is women are pitted against each other and taught to be dissatisfied with themselves and their own life from a very young age. Do you have any tips on keeping grounded while using social media like Pinterest (or craftster, etc)?