PINTEREST HAS CHANGED US
Do you remember the days when a “pin” was just something that lived in your sewing box? You know, back when we had to actually get in our car and drive to Barnes & Noble’s to collect glossy home decor magazines and find images of gorgeous and rooms we envied. Ahh, how far we’ve come, right? Let me just start by saying that I love Pinterest. I use it almost daily both in my work and just for fun…but sometimes the enjoyment and inspiration can quickly (and dangerously) lead to something else.
We see, we pin.
We pin and we pin and we pin…and soon we start to compare.
We pin and compare then we start to resent our current situation, whether in our homes, what we’re wearing, or even what we’re making for dinner. And sadly the comparison road quickly leads to a condition known as what I call “Pinterest Paralysis”.
Pinterest Paralysis (as defined by me) is the state of being frozen from taking any action in your home due to inspiration overload.
A common side effect is “I suck”itis. Does this sound familiar?
Pinterest is great. Design magazines are great. HGTV is fabulous. But all of it together can turn us into ADHD design lovers who end up like ping pong balls, bouncing from one idea to another.
And then we never really making progress in our home. In all seriousness, here’s the cold, hard truth…Too much inspiration is NOT a good thing.
Inspiration should either lead us to better thinking or better doing.
If it stops us from either, we have a problem. And sometimes Pinterest is detrimental to both of these processes.
THE THREE STAGES OF PINTEREST PARALYSIS
Craving: We are desperate to find pretty pictures that we can claim and latch all of our decor hopes and dreams onto. (WARNING: danger ahead) We pin like we’re being paid to, and somehow in a span of 30 minutes we’ve added 47 new pins that we most likely will never even look at again.
Confusion: All the pinning leads to inspiration overload which robs us of our ability to clearly see how we should actually be spending our creative efforts.
Paralysis: Instead of propelling us into the creative process, it leaves us frozen. We have so many ideas that cloud our thinking, so we simply shut down.
I have been a victim to Pinterest Paralysis, and I realized that many of my clients were suffering from this at one point or another.
When I was pregnant and planning Gemma’s nursery, I went on an inspiration binge. One idea led to another and another, and then I found a new pin that trumped them all and made me question everything I thought I wanted. My color scheme changed 15 times, and I was on an endless hunt for the “perfect rug”.
(HINT: There is never a “perfect” rug…and if you think you found one, my guess is that the price tag isn’t “perfect”. A great rug is good enough.)
I was driven by this insane notion that mine had to be the cutest nursery in the history of all nurseries. (Note the ridiculously unattainable standard that was most likely due to-you guessed it-too much pinning.)
By my second trimester, I had over 200 pins on my “Nursery Inspiration” board and ended up being more confused about what to do than when I started.
Can you relate, dear friend?
How to Tell if You’ve Been Infected:
1. You have hundreds (or thousands) of pins for projects and rooms you love…but have not changed a thing in your home in months.
2. You go on a pinning frenzy and lose complete track of time.
3. When you finally break away from the screen after said Pin-fest, you look around your home and suddenly can’t stand anything you see.
4. You’ve pinned loads of ideas, but don’t know which ones will work for you. So you do nothing.
BETTER THINKING & BETTER DOING
Better thinking looks like this…You see a gorgeous room or clever organization tool, and you feel a little jolt. Something in your brain shifts, and you suddenly see some aspect of the world or your home differently.
Better doing is pretty self explanatory. Occasionally those “better thinking” ideas resonate with a need and spur us into action. Whether it’s rearranging our bookshelf, trying a new recipe, or attempting to tie a scarf in a new way.
True inspiration brings about change.
When Pinterest leads us to try something new or revisit something known with fresh perspective, then we are using it in a healthy way.
5 HOME REMEDIES FOR PINTEREST PARALYSIS
1. Find inspiration away from the screen.
I’ve advised several clients to go on Pinterest fast for a week or longer and have also done this myself. (Y’all know this is the only kind of fast I could be successful at because… well, I like my food.)
If you need inspiration, grab some home decor magazines. Better yet, go to a fabric or home improvement store. There’s something about physically interacting with fabrics or finishes that shakes us out of receptive mode. We’re no longer just clicking, we’re engaging.
Engagement is the only way you will ever make progress in your home.
2. Limit your pins.
Don’t get yourself into a pin frenzy; be really selective about what goes on your boards. What if you were only allowed to pin 10 pictures per week? You probably wouldn’t waste your pins on things you sorta’ liked, and instead would only choose things that really spoke to you.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have picked on my motto for this year, “Less but better”. This can also apply to your pins.
In that same vein, it would be a good habit to go through and delete pins that you feel just so-so about.
3. Stop repinning & start curating.
Don’t just repin other people’s content. Find images elsewhere on the web that you love. Instead of only repinning what someone else found interesting, find your own inspiration. Then Pinterest becomes a place for you to curate your own aesthetic, not just recycle other people’s style.
4. Reorganize your boards.
Whether you have only one board for your home or one for every room in your house, try something new. Create one board for “Homes Inspiration” and a second board for your “Home To-Do”.
If you notice a pattern of pinning mostly to the “Inspiration” board and not as much to the “to do”, this could be a sign that you need to stop with the inspiration and choose a project on which to focus your offline energy.
5. Recognize when you’ve had enough.
The moment (and I do mean the very mili second) you start to feel bad about your home, your abilities, or your life in general, STOP PINNING! Instead rearrange a junk drawer, clean out your closet, organize your old pictures sitting in that box…All of these things are simple tasks that get you moving and thinking about what you do have instead of what you don’t.
If you’re having a day when you’re already feeling down on your home or your body or your cooking abilities, for the love of all that’s chocolate do NOT get on Pinterest, friend.
SHOULD I STILL USE PINTEREST?
Yes, yes of course you should. There is no other tool like it, and it is most definitely valuable to your decorating endeavors. But like many fun things, it’s best enjoyed when you know your own tendencies and set some guidelines.
On Thursday, I’ll be back to show you “5 Healthy Ways to Use Pinterest“…only to use once you’re over the “sickness” and have a clean bill of health.
Did this hit home with you?
Q: Have you ever or are you suffering from “Pinterest Paralysis”?