Thursday, February 2, 2012

Things I've Learned About the World from Perusing Pinterest

This comes to mind....

You know, I freaking love the internet. It is awesome. I can sit at my desk at work, do my job, listen to Bowie at the Beeb on Pandora, get up to date news from Twitter and see what my friends are doing on Facebook. I spend my lunch everyday, reading the Blind Items on Gawker either on my desk computer or on my phone. It is my guilty pleasure--a very spicy sub from Subway ("So you like a little sub with your burning sensation?" said the sandwich guy the other day) and a bit of speculation over who may or may not be gay in Hollywood. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Even more indicative of my love and respect for Al Gore's creation is the fact that I am raising my children to love it too. Gabby is probably the most up-to-date internet kid that I know. She always knows about meme's before I do, seems to have an uncanny ability to get to a Wikipedia page before you've even asked her a question, and delights in being connected (don't worry-we do monitor her use, and cut off her Wi-Fi use at night).

BUT...nothing can make me madder than the internet. In fact, while I'm fixing dinner at night, my husband and I will very often find ourselves standing near the counter, drinking a glass of wine and detailing someone's Facebook activities during the day. There is a lot of eyerolling and a lot of "Where do they get off!" kinda stuff. This usually goes into a tired conversation we have about liking someone's offline persona a lot more than we like the person's online persona. And of course, we then start second guessing our own activities: "Did I come across as a douchebagess then?" or "Do you think my parents can tell what a foul-mouthed socialist I am?" (GUESS WHO WONDERS THAT?)

Pinterest adds a whole 'nother layer to that. I've detailed my thoughts on Pinterest before, and I have to say, I oscillate wildly on a day to day basis on whether I even like it or not. But I keep going back, just like I go back to McDonald's even though they keep fucking up my unsweetteawithlemonandfoursplenda. I go because part of me wonders what will happen next. It is just like getting on Facebook to read about the lives of people you grew up with just so you can feel a tiny bit more secure in your own particular brand of fuckery.

You can also learn things. Here's what I've learned.

1. People do some crazy ass shit to newborn babies. Having a baby is not fun. NEWSFLASH. Your body does stuff that it really ought not do, and then instead of getting to recover like it would, say, if an eight pound blob of flesh came popping out of your eyesocket, you have to go through a period of time where you're not getting much sleep and everyone wants to see you. After my kids were born, I spent every waking moment either trying to figure out how to get them back to sleep or how I was going to get to sleep again. Because newborns don't do anything. They are not fun yet. It is best just to let them sleep until they become real people. But you know what? The people on Pinterest didn't get that memo. You know what they're doing with their newborns? Putting them in fucking cowboy boots. For real, ya'll. I SAW THAT. A baby put in a boot. Like its body is in the boot, and the head is just there on top, like the cherry on top of redneck sundae. And not just once. A bunch of times, with assorted commentary like "Can't wait to do this with little Baighleigh!" or "SOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!" No, folks, it is not cute. It is kind of bordering on abuse. All that baby wants is to sleep and have someone stick a nice full boob in its face every couple of hours. It doesn't want to be photographed, it doesn't want to have a huge fucking flower headband on its head, IT DOES NOT LIKE YOUR CHOICE OF FOOTWEAR. Leave it alone, and get some sleep so you don't push your crazy on the internet.

This is just one egregious example of newborn baby photography on Pinterest. I hate all of it. It is my not-so-secret hope that the newborns of the world will be given super smart serum and soon be able to overthrow their photographic overlords. The streets will be black with the broken hulls of Canon Rebels.

2. The only thing women love more than cupcakes is photographs of perfect six-pack abs. One day, I seriously did a count of number of baked goods to "thinspiration" photographs of Victoria's Secret models on the Pinterest "Everything" page. It is a strikingly similar number. It is especially rocking awesome when it comes from the same person in back-to-back posts: "Oh, here's a picture I love of a brownie drenched in caramel and then covered in ice cream and a sauce made purely of butter, cream cheese and heavy whipping cream. Making this next week!" and then "Someday I'll have abs like Gisele's! Fingers crossed!" My GOD, people. First off, the "thinspiration" stuff is sickening. Get healthy because you want to be healthy, because you want to live long enough to see Newt Gingrich die in a caustic explosion of evil, Old Spice and his own self-importance. It is not ok to starve yourself just so you can reach an ideal that is unattainable to 99.5% of the population, because SPOILER ALERT, it is not going to work. And even if you were to reach that ideal (or close to it) you wouldn't get there by posting pictures on a virtual pinboard. I suggest some running and maybe some sit-ups.

3. The more pictures you pin of living areas that are supposedly "just like mine," the more I will assume that you are a hoarder who stepped over three dead cats to make her morning joe.

4. People love looking at pictures of wedding dresses and nurseries. Even if they are neither getting married nor expecting a child. You know, I was going to complain about the emphasis on weddings on Pinterest, but you know what? I've expressed my ideas about weddings before, and really, I think using Pinterest to prepare for a wedding is a great idea. For instance, you can find pictures on the internet of things both wacky and conservative and cull them together to create your perfect day. Awesome. What gets weird is when you see people who are not engaged, or, even better, already married, picking out things as if they were getting ready to go through the whole process. Surely there is something more deserving of your time. could volunteer to read to the elderly...or get a part-time job so you can pay off your crippling debt....or, let's face it, just pin more pictures of Ryan Gosling eating nutella cheesecake to your board and remain pantsless.

5. There are some batshit crazy people on the internet, and they like Pinterest too. For every 20 or so normal Pinterest type postings on the "Everything" board (i.e., cakes, babies, rooms, boots), you get at least one thing that is just so fucking nuts, you really wonder why anyone would have even known it existed, much less thought they should post it to an online pinboard. Recipes for offal in which the cover photo doesn't even look like something of this planet? YES PLEASE. Facepainting tips for Insane Clown Posse juggalos? OH HELLZ YEAH. Private family photos in which someone is not wearing a shirt? YEPPERS, THAT'S A ROGER. So, really, Pinterest, like Facebook before it, is the great social equivalent, letting the crazy mingle with the disturbingly normal in a great virtual melting pot.

Wait...did someone say melting pot? Pictures of chocolate dripping? I MUST PIN THAT PICTURE TO SHOW YOU THAT I LIKE CHOCOLATE.


  1. Oh, my. I just "applied" to Pinterest and got "waitlisted." (WTH, BTW.) Perhaps I should rethink this, because really all I want are recipes. Not babies in boots, or shirtless rednecks, or wedding dresses. Oof.

  2. The recipes are good, so you are fine there. And you can sort it, so you only see the recipes people have posted. Or, if you just really want to hate the world, just go on the Everything board.

    1. Yep, I follow more and more people so I never have to go to the boards of everyone's stuff because it's a SCARRRYYYYY place. I of course check out women's apparel all the time, which is prom dresses, garter belts, and women with latex painted on their boobs.

      I used to follow a person in their entirety, but now I will follow people sans their workout/thinsperation posts, often sans their "yummy yummy!" board, and no more photography of children with neon blue eyes or babies in galvanized tins and no more weddings and million-dollar toddler birthday parties. It's really awful.