Monday, October 8, 2012
We've all seen this room on Pinterest, right?
At first glance, I just LOVED it. I thought the idea of the hanging bookshelves all over the wall was brilliant. I instantly imagined our basement "reading nook" looking like that!
And what could be easier to plan an Elmo themed birthday party than steal all these ideas! (I admit, they are pretty friggen cute)
Or when I went to my scrapbooking retreat and found this on Pinterest. I instantly decided that I wanted to make a scrapbook page that looked the same. I just needed to take have a similar event happen, then take some pictures that resembled those pics, buy similar paper & embellishments-- again, all I would need to do is copy it.
And somewhere, in the midst of all this 'repinning' and 'liking' I began to "dislike". A lot. I started seeing all these posts on facebook of birthday cakes that looked like tennis balls, or cupcakes that looked like butterflies, and adorable penets that were strung across babies' rooms spelling out their names. And every time I would see one of these posts, I'd think: "I saw that on Pinterest. That didn't come from your brain."--and I got annoyed.
Now, I'm all about hosting a cute party or making a cute craft and I'm all about finding inspiration. And people have been sharing their ideas and using others' ideas as inspiration for decades. This type of inspiration used to be called "magazines" or "books" or "craft club" and now it's called "Pinterest". I think what bothers me most about Pinterst is the total lack of creativity it lets people get away with. Maybe this is just because I am a self-proclaimed creative person, and I like the feeling of "racking my brain" for an idea. But I think it's just too easy to totally 100% steal someone else's idea and one more way for us to turn off our brains in today's society.
It's kind of like good artwork. Sometimes you see it and think, "I could do that" or "I could have made that". But You DIDN'T. And coming up with the idea is half of the art! Same as little projects. Yes, we all can probably duplicate many of the things we see, but creating it is what makes it art!
When I was a kid, I remember my mom coming up with super party games for our birthday parties. One year, it was a Cabbage Patch Kid theme and she made a giant "Pin the nose on the Cabbage Patch" poster. Another year, we did a Halloween theme and she created a scavenger hut of things we needed to find door-to-door in our neighborhood. At home she made an "office" for my sister by removing the lower bunk bed, placing curtains across the top and setting a little desk and bookshelf inside. She wallpapered round ice-cream bins to use for cute storage and labeled household items on index cards when we were learning to read. And she did this because she was a creative person-- who probably got an idea from some magazine or friendly conversation. If Pinterest would have been around in the 80's, her ideas would've been all over it!
My second beef with Pinterest is how it makes me panicky and anxious. Is everyone out there excelling at everything? Does everyone have cute sayings on their walls? Because in our house, we don't have cute sayings on our walls and we probably never will. Does everyone spend a day planning a 3 year old birthday party? Because whatever happened to picking up a birthday cake and some balloons at Hy-Vee and calling it good? You won't find me whipping up an entire themed birthday party and I'm definitely not going to be making cupcakes in the shape Elmos. C's school birthday treats will probably be pre-packaged Little Debbie snacks, not "butterflies" made out of clothes pins and baggies. Pinterest leaves me with the feeling that everyone else is doing it better than me. And I don't like that. Because honestly, I'm probably doing just fine.
Posted by Karibean