Friday, March 23, 2012

Pinterest Crazies - Ruining a Beautiful Thing

I really enjoy the Internet phenomenon known as Pinterest. If you're not sure of what it is let's let the good people at Pinterest's marketing department explain.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard.  Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.

This means that I have boards filled with recipes I'll probably never make, DIY projects I'll probably never do, and outfits I can't afford to own. It also means that I have some cool boards full of bookshelves and book related stuff, Star Wars stuff and snarky little sayings I probably won't use in real life, but really want to.
I enjoy the whole "sharing beautiful things" aspect of the site and the mindless timesuck it can be when I'm dealing with stress or avoiding problems. What I don't like is the crazies.

First the crazies found My Space, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Tumblr and now Pinterest. Let me breakdown the 4 main kinds of crazies for you.

1. The Entrepeneurs
I'm all for business, free enterprise, capitalism and all that stuff and I absolutely see the value in embracing social media to market your product. I know business people who have seen their businesses grow leaps and bounds by adhering to a marketing plan that involves social media. This is not what the crazies do. The entrepreneurial crazies on Pintereest take a popular picture like this Crispy Potato Roast
You tell me, who doesn't want to make that?
and comment with
omg omg omg!! I received my free gucci handbag within just 3 days. You can get yours here hurry up:
Not only is their grammar horrible and their claim dubious it's annoying. I'm trying to figure out how to make this glorious tribute to PEI's number one export and you're interjecting with randomly strewn about lies. Almost all of the Pinterest users know Gucci is NOT handing out free handbags, the one's who don't are people that aren't Internet savvy. So, now you're not only a poor grammar using, dubious claim making, annoying liar, you're taking advantage of people. Shame on you!

2. The Political Crazies
Maybe it's because I'm a Canadian and, in case you didn't know, we have more than two political parties to align ourselves with and, for better or worse, we tend to be relatively apathetic about politics. Maybe that's why I don't understand the seething hatred Democrats and Republicans in the States have for eachother.
My American friends might claim that they love their neighbours/family/friends who support an opposing political party than themselves, but if I was to use Pinterest as a gauge I would be hard pressed to believe them.
The mean spirited, hurtful things that are pinned or spouted in comments regarding politics by Americans makes me cringe. At first glance it seems that it's the right-leaning Republicans pinning the most ridiculous images, but the Democrats are close behind them with nasty comments and plenty of mockery.
I understand the right to free speech, and freedom of expression, but DUDE!

  1. Nobody on Pintrest who lives outside the United States cares about your politics unless you're planning to invade their country. Just sayin'
  2. If you don't like something someone's pinned there's no rule saying you have have to comment. Why take the bait? Why not just shake your head at the poor deluded opinion the pinner has (Clearly, it's deluded if it doesn't match your own, right?) and go look at pins of smiling elephants, ninja cats or Chuck Norris dressed as a nun or something.
  3. Be considerate. Is what you're saying offensive? Is it playing into an already done to death stereotype of people from your political perspective or geographical region *cough The South cough*? Is it a "beautiful thing" you're sharing?

Here's a very mild example:
Unless this is your grandkid, why is this a pin?
Commentary: Jane Doe I love this little girl! It's just pointing out the differences in funding for school vs. the military. Parents were probably just trying to point that out, I doubt they actually want the military to put on bake sales...
Jackie Doe just so you know our military does do bake sales and many times the funds go to the widows or injured service person. they fight for that parents right to use their child in such a sad way.
Julie Doe Fully funded??? It doesn't matter how much money you give to the public school systems, it's never enough. They spend 93% more per year than private and it doesn't make a difference. And I think it is sickening how you could could compare the two during a time of war! You want a free ride while maybe some of these men want there legs back or mothers want their sons back, wive's their husbands, children their fathers. Makes me wonder how these men and woman would want to make these sacrifices for so many ungrateful, disrespectful people. s
Janet Doe Scary to think what would happen if the military couldn't sell enough cookie :(
Jessica Doe We barely pay those men who are injured or their widows enough as it is... yet somehow our school district has a "Wii Room" dedicated purely to kids signing out of study halls and going to play wii on big screen tv's for "activity".
3. The Crazy Church People Vs. The Angry Not Church People
I'm a Christian and I do my best to live a life that is a half decent representation of the life Christ lived, it`s not easy and I mess up lots. That being said, I don't have anything overtly religious around my house. No Footprints in the Sand wall plaques or Last Supper dishtowels for me. Ok, I have a scripture tattooed on my back, but the other stuff isn't my thing, but I get that for other people it is their thing. I understand that if you find a particularly witty or meaningful saying that relates back to your Christianity you may want to pin that or if you have a particular scripture that you like and find it in a particularly pretty font, typed over a gorgeous sunset you might want to pin that. I get it, but like the Political Crazies watch what you pin and expect a reaction. I'm not telling you to "hide your light" or to not be proud of your faith, but to be kind and considerate. Pinning something that list the Levitical rules against Homosexuality or that claims only slutty girls use birth control or even that everybody but Southern Baptists are going to Hell (I made that up) is not going to win you points with Jesus or with people. And if someone comments and disagrees with you let it lie. Don't start preaching. This isn't a personal attack on you and, even if it is, it's somebody's opinion. If you want to be really spiritual and actually do what Jesus told you to, let it go and pray, in your head, for the person, nicely.  If you call yourself a Christian how about representing the fact that Jesus loved people and put up with a lot more crap than somebody bad-mouthing his pin without lifting a finger.

On the flip side, I know that not everybody is a Christian (shocker!) and that many people have a justified and personal reason to look down on Christians and The Church, we are often times our own worst PR people. Here's the deal though, whether you're Atheist, Agnostic, lapsed catholic, or another faith all together or heck, even if you're a Christian with different beliefs than the pinner, you don't have to comment! You don't have to be aggressive or demeaning. If you disagree with a pin do something radical and ignore it or, if it's truly offensive, report it. An argument about someone's faith can't be won. Faith isn't quantifiable, it's personal. Plus, arguing with someone about their pins is ridiculous. Don't you have better things to do?
Seems subtle but...
Commentary: Jennifer Doe Who the he** are Any of you to judge anyone else. And u call yourself "Christians."who are u to say that we have some kind of freaking "hole" that needs to be filled by nonsense. An intelligent person does not need the promise of "heaven " to understand love and good deeds. Eh, u make me sick

Jean Doe: Jennifer, you are clearly trolling. No one would seriously come on this pin to call Christians judgmental and then spend a paragraph judging them! What a joke.

Jessica Doe: Well it is simple.... and it is a FACT after this life you will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Jennifer, Love and Good deeds don't get you to Heaven. John 3:3 says we must be born again. His salvation is simple and it doesn't infact question our IQ. Sometimes the people who consider theirselves to have the most knowledge are the furtherest lost. Everyone needs his salvation. HE DIED FOR YOU! I would be happy to pray with you if you would like to experience Him. :)

It doesn't get better from there. Nope. Not at all. There are caps involved and everything. O.O

4. The Wordy
The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. Yes, I did steal that from Wikipedia and no, I am not ashamed. I stole it like you stole that 4 paragraph description of Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night that you pinned. Plus, they said it better than I ever could. This adage which, in my opinion, sums of the modus operandi of Pinterest is why I dislike wordy pinners.
Pinterest is meant to be a place where I can view someone else's pin and say, "Oh! Look at that! It's so beautiful/thought provoking/colourful, etc. It makes me feel/think/remember/wish for bla, bla bla. I must pin it and write why I feel this way!" However, when a pinner writes a huge essay about their pin, not several sentences, I'm talking paragraphs in the "hamburger style" of essay writing,  I don't get to feel what the pin says to me I end up feeling what the pinner feels about the image.  I understand that some pictures require a bit of explanation, but keep it simple.

For example:

I don't need an essay about this picture. Unless a person has a heart of stone they will feel some type of emotion. I don't need to know this serviceman's information to know that he clearly feels either great joy or sadness at this moment.

Alright, now that I've gotten that off my chest I need to go look up pictures of jellyfish and Irish castles.

Play nice while I'm gone! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March - It's Been a Freaking Rollercoaster!

I like the month of March. I really do, but this year it's been a roller-coaster filled with amazing highs and really sucky lows.
Here's what's been going on.

If you follow this blog you know that my husband Jeff had his birthday. We had a great time celebrating with his family. Yay birthdays!!

Jacob caught some weird, rashy, fever, snotty disease that we think was Fifths Disease. While my family and I freaked out he wrote a song about it! Then he got better over March Break and now he's sick again. My sister in law wants us to have the house checked for black mold I want to ask her where she got her medical degree and if she'll be paying for the tests. My sister in law is wonderful but having a sick kid makes me mean.

I realize that kids catch things and that this year he's been less sick than last year, and last year he was less sick than the year before that. Kids are just filthy, germ sharing gremlins and unless I stick my kid in a bubble (thought about it, but I'm sure he'd get methane poisoning - he could drop a horse with his gas) he's going to catch things. However, that being said, I don't think a person can understand the sense of panic a sick child can induce until they are a parent themselves. I'm so sick of waking up to check on him every time he coughs. This gets easier, right? Right?

The hub's and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.
I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I feel proud. I feel like Jeff and I should be given a free pass to hand out unwarranted, obnoxious marriage advice.
I kid, but really, I could not ask for a better life partner and friend.

For the past 3 years the hubs and I have taken the week of march break off to run workshops and volunteer at Creation Force March Break Camp's annual camp. The camp is a faith based day program that specifically reaches out to families in the low income areas of my hometown. Approximately 80% of the close to 200 attending kids, age 5-12 are subsidized by charitable donations and those who aren't are only billed $45 for the week.  The theme of the camp is that each child was created special, with unique talents and gifts, for a purpose, that they are loved and that they are special. The Scripture that encompasses the camp's mandate is Psalm 139:14
I praise You, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well!
Hubs runs a really cool percussion workshop and I put my all $50k of my history degree to good use by running the medieval times workshop. I spend the whole week building castles, teaching chess, sword fighting and designing catapults.  It's a very, very busy week, but it's a labour of love and very rewarding.

The Monday of March Break Camp my mom calls to let me know my Grandpa passed away.
In case I haven't mentioned it before I was never close with any of my grandparents and add to that the fact that my grandpa's been suffering from dementia for several years, so I am sad but not distraught. I am mostly sad for my mom.

That Friday Jeff and I got dressed up and drove 3 hours to Lakefield, ON, just outside of Peterborough. This is our trip in a nutshell.
  • Good driving!
  • Missed McDonald's for a pee break and stopped at The New Dutch Oven Restaurant on the 115N. If you don't know why this restaurant name is funny you need to go here and refer to point one. There food was really good, but Jeff said the graffiti and adjoining artistry found in the bathroom stalls was better. 
  • Funeral service was beautiful. My Grandpa was the kind of guy there was nothing bad to say about and he was wholly involved in his family, his community and his church. The service was filled with middle aged men he'd led in Scouting, Veteran's who'd likewise served, as he did, in WWII and young people to whom he'd served breakfast as part of a school initiative.
  • I hate bagpipes. It's not their sound, it's the fact that whenever I hear Amazing Grace played on the pipes I turn into a weeping mess. 
  • I found books! Apparently the church ladies at Lakefield United all bring in their used paperbacks and you can buy them for $0.25. So during the reception, when I wasn't jiggling babies or fighting with my sisters for the best mini sandwiches and sweet squares, the hubs and I bought $2.50 worth of books. 
  • Rain + Cemetery + High heels = Hilarity. Lakefield had had a huge storm the night prior to my Grandpa's internment so the lawn at the cemetery was pretty much like a huge, green, muddy sponge and my Grandpa's plot was in the back of the cemetery. Getting there was fine, I hung on to Jeff for dear life and only lost my shoe once. On the way back, however I was abandoned to fend for myself and began sinking. So, I removed my heels and sprinted (as much as a chubby lady in a pencil skirt can) across the cemetery  grounds. My mom says it made her day and was probably the funniest thing she's ever seen. That's me, comic relief. 
  • The drive back sucked.
  • All of my family has since gotten sick. I blame the church ladies and their delicious sandwich triangles.

My boss got married! On Saturday the 17th, St. Patty's Day, my boss got married in a beautiful ceremony. Jeff said he felt like he was on one of those wedding shows you see on tv, everything was so perfect.
It was a fantastic day spent with coworkers, old friends and two people who love eachother deeply. The food was great, everything was beautiful and somewhere out there is a picture of me doing the Cha Cha Slide. For your benefit and mine pray that that picture never surfaces - it's not pretty.
Ivo and Naomi 

I got sick and have to go back to work. BOO!!

As you can see the month of March has been a huge roller-coaster. At this point I'm ready for April because...DUUUUUUDE! I wanna get off !

Nb. Not me. Obviously.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Somebody's Having a Birthday!!

Today is a momentous day. My darling husband is celebrating a birthday. I can't say how old he is (not very old) because he's all weird about his age and has very strong feelings about that sort of thing, but I can say that he deserves an awesome day because he's a stellar guy.

From the first birthday he and I spent together when his ex-girlfriend called him collect with birthday wishes to today I have been very lucky to be part of his life watching him mature and grow into a fabulous husband, father and man.

Much love to my hot man.

Happy Birthday !