Open Letters

An Open Letter to Pinterest

Dear Pinterest,

As a 20-something female who considers herself “web savvy” and “social” and “up with the trends” and “probably going to get married one day, just as soon as I find myself a boyfriend”, I suppose I should love you. Lord knows a lot of my friends do, and anyone who spends any time online has probably noticed a whole lot of people “pinning” which, contrary to popular belief, is not a weird twist on Charlie Sheen’s “winning” catchphrase, nor is it a reference to ‘The Telephone Hour‘ from Bye Bye Birdie (although I’d be totally into the reemergence of that kind of pinning).

I guess you could say Pinterest is like one big scrapbook, which probably explains why manic brides-to-be have fallen head-over-heels in love with this new(ish) social media service. Recently I’ve started to get my pin on and while I try to do a few a day, I’m not so sure yet how best to use Pinterest beyond a place to finally store all the nail art designs I hope to one day try. So, like, how should I be using Pinterest? And do men use Pinterest, too, or is this just a “chicks only” kind of thing?

Truth be told, I’m finding it hard to succumb to the Pinterest obsession, but maybe that’s because I think Tumblr satisfies whatever scrapbooking needs I might have. On that note, I hate myself a little bit for thinking I have “scrapbooking needs”.

So far I find Pinterest overwhelming, while most other users I know seem to find it addicting. But why is it addicting? And what are you supposed to do with the stuff you pin? What is the point of all this pinning? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

Sorry I spiraled out of control with that last question but there’s something about you, Pinterest, that makes me have a lot of questions, a few concerns, but mostly I feel confused and need some bridezilla to slap me across the face and tell me how Pinterest revolutionized her wedding plans and if it weren’t for all those perfectly curated pin boards, she wouldn’t have been able to locate the perfect flower arrangement for the table centerpieces or whatever it is you get flowers for at a wedding.

Until then I’m just going to complain about Pinterst and all these new internet fads and being single and should I get a cat?

Fond Regards,


Screenshot of Pinterest via Annie Stamell

  • Manne Ørndal

    I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest, but I don’t know why. You’ve finally put into words how I feel. I’ve been pinning for a while now and today was the first time I actually made something that I had pinned. I think they call that growth.

  • Sarah H

    I asked a friend to invite me on pintrest because I thought it looked fun and since I got an account I have pinned exactly one thing. I do not get it at all. I don;t know where to start with it, so I just haven’t.

    And btw, since when did “addicting” become a word? Is it not “addictive”? Or is that just another American English-Aussie English difference?

  • Kayleigh Zupi

    I qgree… pinning confuses me. I ranted a little bit on my own blog about it, which resulted in an invite to experience the phenomenon. A few weeks later and I still don’t quite get it… Is it just a place te repost things to show everyone what you like? A storage place for everything on the web that interests you? ugh! I wish I understood it :]

  • Katherine Costantini

    I like to use Pinterest as a kind of visual Favorites folder. I add a lot of recipes to my Favorites folder and then promptly forget about them, but with Pinterest, I can see them and actually make them.

  • Suanne Brady

    I think of it as a visual bookmarks folder – I have so many really cute projects and great recipes “lost” in my browsers bookmarks folders because there is no visual reminder of why I bookmarked those pages. Maybe Pinterest is a tool for visual learners? I’m finding it really useful to track all those great ideas and I am making recipes, doing craft projects and organizing my craft room with my pin boards help. I get that it might not be for everyone but I’m thankful for this tool. :)

  • Jessica La Battaglia

    The best way that I can explain the use of Pinterest, the way that I see it anyway, is that its a way to bookmark sites without having to bookmark them onto your browser. A “cloud” for your book marks if you will. And it keeps your bookmarks nice and organized, and with a picture so, that if you’re anything like me and book mark almost everything you come across, you aren’t looking down an extremely long lost of book marks saying “where the heck is that awesome site I once bought gauges from??” Also, for myself anyway, it’s a better way to google… I’m terrible at googling, I’m not really sure why but as eloquently spoken as I can be, I can’t seem to think of the perfect phrase to type into the search bar and bring up results that I’d like to have. So, I go on Pinterest and if I’m looking for, say, new craft projects to do with my group of kids at work (I’m a preschool teacher) then I just go under DIY Crats, or Kids… if I’m looking for new vegetarian recipes, I simply go on Pinterest and look under Food and Drink and type in vegetarian, and rather than trying to imagine if the dish sounds delicious, I can simply look at the picture and see how wonderfully tasty it looks! (P.S. with the link to Facebook when you Pin something, you can subtly suggest to friends and family things that they should buy you! TEE HEE HEE).

  • Jessica Spurling

    I think the person above is right – if you’re not a visual learner you may not necessarily find it as exciting.

    I love pinterest, and have over a thousand pins. I’m planning my daughter’s second birthday (rainbow theme!), I have a board of exercises and motivation, I have a board for what I want to dress like when I lose weight, I have a board for healthy recipes, one for vegetarian, one for regular, and one for days when nothing matters and I just want to eat Charlie and his chocolate factory.

    It has intent to be geared towards everyone but will only be the most successful and appealing to visual learners.

  • Amy Peters

    I feel like I was a pioneer pinner. Now, I find myself getting so agitated that I can’t stick around. I think at least once a day I send a tweet to pinterest asking for a “hide” option. I have gone through and unfollowed specific boards (that’s you wedding planners, “thinspiration,” and overly religious pins) but some people haven’t mastered the art of categorizing their boards, and I just want to hide stuff. Kudos to them limiting the comments to 500 characters. Also, the male/female debate is definitely a big talking point. Check out a friend of mine is one of the co-developers. Like pinterest, any gender can join, but in contrast to crock pot recipes and polyvore pins, the “mints” feature booze, music, toys, and other dude-like things.

  • Melissa Mayotte Villanueva

    I get bored really quickly on Pinterest. I guess I’m a minimalist when it comes to my boards. Instead of incessantly trying to fill them up, I try to put only the most worthy of pins on them. 😉

  • Cindie Palumbo

    I think I’m the only one of my 20-something female friends *without* a wedding board on there, but that’s okay! I use it for recipes, clothes I want to buy (or are too expensive for me but are instead used as ideas for something cheaper), and ideas for my future house (one day, a million years from now, when I can afford it). I actually spend less time perusing the site to re-pin than I do just pinning from other websites to save things for later. I like the visual bookmarks analogy, I think that’s perfect!

  • Sofie Grossman

    i view pinterest as a personal kind of bulletin board. things I want to do, things I want to buy, places I want to go, etc. For me it’s a way to keep all of my inspirations and aspirations in one place. I’d say im addicted, I love browsing when I’m bored and see it as kind of modern (more useful) replacement for StumbleUpon.

  • Casey Hollimon Bowles

    It’s all about who you follow and what pins you browse when you’re on the site. Otherwise, it’s nothing but pins about babies and weddings.

    Best thing is to browse pins in the categories you’re interested in (the link up top on the site), find ones you like and then follow that person’s boards. I’ve found lots of cool stuff about photography, gardening, recipes, and travel that way. The last 3 awesome party appetizer recipes I used came from pinterest. I don’t know if I would have stumbled upon them otherwise. So the site has its uses for keeping track of ideas like that.

  • Jessica Engel

    I tried Pinterest for about a week and I felt like it was just a public “vision board” to most people. In a strange way, I kinda hated showing my every dream/plan publicly. In a weird way, I felt a bit like I was just stripping down all my hopes and dreams onto a virtual diary and it made me feel a bit exposed. I know I’m being a bit dramatic about it…but in this world of facebook and twitter and the like, I just don’t know if it’s necessary to clearly organize my dream vacations, body goals, dream shoes, etc. on a neat little board for others to view. Rant over. :)

  • Bridget Jennings Hoyng

    I felt the same way as Jessica. I had my Pinterest account for a about a week and then decided it wasn’t for me. It was bad enough that random people I didn’t know were following me or repinning things that I pinned, then to find out that every time I pinned something on my Pinterest it was posted on my Facebook news feed for everyone to see. It creeped me out. I’m sure there are privacy settings somewhere (are there?). But I didn’t stick around to find out. I deleted my account.

  • Courteney Georgina

    we heart it is amazing and because of it i find it hard to get into pintrest…i’m even having trouble getting signed in. pintrest is not for me.

  • Anonymous

    First of all I think it’s funny how pinterest is finally getting the recognition it deserves. I have been on pinterest for nearly a year I was on thereduring it’s beta stages as an escape from Facebook. I love pinterest but as of late since it has become a fad I have come to dislike it. I’m a photographer/blogger so I feel up my boards with tons of inspiration. I agree with you Jessica it does feel like I am exposing too much I mean seriously what happened to mystery? I feel like social media has been the death of that and pinterest is slowly the death to originality. I continue to have pin because a. it’s like a cloud and I can save things without it taking up space on my hard drive and I can log into it whenever b. It’s a nice escape and c.I’ve planned some great meals based on pinterest. I do agree with the blocking thing and I wish there was a way you can pin and be hidden I hae that I pin and it blows up the mini feed.

  • Anonymous

    oh and I hate the my replies always show up anonymous here and I don’t even know why :(

  • Catharine Graff

    I pretty much use it for collecting things I’m interested in and also as a wish list of things I’m okay with never having. I even find myself constantly posting photos of where I would love to live and how I would decorate it if I had buckets of infinite money. – CatPints

  • Alyssa Laura King

    I am so glad I found another twenty-something girl who is indifferent to pinterest!! I was beginning to wonder if something was genuinely wrong with me that I am not as taken with it as every other female on the planet! Every time it’s brought up within ten feet of a girl the whole conversation comes to a screeching halt so we (they) can discuss how amazing/time-consuming it is. I’ve been on it a couple of times and I completely don’t understand the appeal at all.

  • Nicole Carrot Pierson

    I thought I was the only person on earth bewildered by the appeal of Pinterest. I just cannot get on board! Ugh, no pun intended >< Maybe it's because I found Tumblr first? Although, I do hate how hard it is to find things you've reposted or added to your favorites on Tumblr. Maybe it's because I'm not using Pinterest like I do Tumblr.

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