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! :)

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