Pinterest has been on my mind a lot recently. I love it, obviously. It has amazing recipes, inventive craft ideas and enough design inspiration to last a lifetime. I’ve customized my feed so that I even get some news! It’s an amazing tool. But, in time, I’ve seen that it can also come with negatives.
You’re scrolling endlessly through a feed of beautiful, delicious, convenient things that you do NOT have. I believe we all have enough challenges fighting the I want it now syndrome. We don’t need any help being reminded that sometimes it’s easy to feel that you never have enough. I think we all could admit that we occasionally acquiesce to a feeling of discontent in the age of instant gratification, over-stylized ads and societal pressures.
It’s already common knowledge that Facebook has been proven to increase depression linked to social media induced jealousy. And if Facebook is a highlight reel, then Pinterest is a professionally photographed advertisement for perfection and unattainable, stylized moments. Ack!
But, if we stopped using everything that had pros AND cons we’d be in trouble. This is about forming a positive environment, not removing all potential challenges. Pick up some of these tips on social media positivity.
I will definitely not stop using Pinterest, because I do thoroughly enjoy being able to plan my backyard easily with my husband or create a wishlist for things I plan to buy. And, it was crucial to my wedding planning process! Anyone who got married before Pinterest deserves a do-over, actually.
Again, I am not suggesting to remove yourself completely from the world of delicious bakery recipes and life hacks. My personal solution is a combination of two things. Edit my environment and counterbalance the negative.
Edit Your Environment
I learned from a great book, Foodist, that willpower cannot, and should not be relied on 100% of the time. This had a big impact on the way I thought about a lot of things, from dieting and exercise to house work and social media habits. Willpower can be depleted. It wears out, you give in, then feel bad for not being stronger. When the issue was not your weakness, but rather your misplaced efforts and a lack of habits. If you cannot resist eating the entire bag of kettle corn from Trader Joes (true story), then don’t keep it the house on a regular basis. If you can’t stop buying it (true story), then send your husband to the store. Don’t want to spend too much time on Pinterest? Don’t keep it on the front page of your phone where you see it constantly. Do certain boards inspire you while others bring you down? Edit your feed! Rely on your habits and environment, not your willpower.
If you take anything away from this, let it be these thoughts on willpower.
Balance the Negatives
Instead of spending energy mourning that gorgeous outfit you don’t have, or skill you haven’t mastered, explore your own wardrobe and celebrate your personal accomplishments! For this, my first step was to create a board of things I DO have – my favorites board. What do you have that you can celebrate? Books you’ve finished lately? Recipes that were a success? Places you’ve already traveled? So many ideas!
Some may think this is me trying to make myself feel better with “stuff” but I have many other aspects that add to my happiness, and this is just a Pinterest-specific facet of the larger plan.
What do you use Pinterest for?