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Amy Hansen Headshot

The Power of Pinning

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I was casually doing my daily creep session on Facebook, checking out which classmate had gotten engaged or who was popping out another kid, when something caught my eye on my news feed. There were a solid 25 entries from my best friend's sister. "Kim has pinned something new on Pinterest!" was repeated over and over as I scrolled down my homepage.

My annoyance level went up a bit. Didn't Zuckerberg and his homies know I only wanted to creep on who wore what dress to weekend weddings? I couldn't figure out what the big deal was over all of the hooplah of pinning. Pin me to the uninterested board, I thought.

...Until one Saturday at about 3 a.m., a time normally reserved for sleep or late-night Taco Bell sessions, when I found myself glued to my couch. Pin after pin, I couldn't get enough. Recipes, workouts, booze, apartment décor, quotes. A high of inspiration came through with every click. Yes, I'd love to create that four-course meal in five minutes, even though my biggest culinary success in the kitchen was a Hot Pocket. A 20-minute workout to have rock-hard abs? Sign me up, even though I can barely run a mile! I couldn't wait to make floor-to-ceiling inspiration boards, despite my lack of being able to cut a piece of paper in a straight line.

I finally pried my eyes away from the glow of my laptop and caught a glimpse of myself in disheveled pajamas. I certainly didn't look like those well-dressed girls I had pinned to my style board, but gosh darn it, wait until I got dressed tomorrow! I was also going to cook a great meal, have the best workout of my life, and redecorate my apartment, all thanks to a social media site. I stopped and asked myself -- was this the power of Pinterest?

Nothing changed too much when I rubbed the sleep from my eyes on Sunday morning. From that moment on, I was hooked, but my obsession seemed strictly confined to my pin-life and not real life. It was almost as if I was a little nervous to replicate anything from the site in fear of disturbing the pseudo-perfect identity I had created on those tiny little boards. As long as the ideas stayed online, I was "inspired" and "motivated".

I tried my first dessert recipe at a camping trip with friends. Did I whip up the Greek yogurt pie after having a few drinks? Well, yes, but I followed the directions pretty closely (alright, well, as good as I could remember). Phrases like "this tastes like paste" and "it's stuck in my throat, I can't breathe" were the most common denominators my friends used to describe the dessert. Luckily, I had some old-school brownies and some ice-cold beers as a backup, but Pinterest recipe number one could be chalked up to a big ole' fail.

I found some solace after stumbling onto a blog entitled PinterestFail. Readers can upload their own photos of replications that didn't quite turn out well and find solace or advice from other pinners. I was crying after reading the sarcastic entries on Pintester, who seemed to have about as much luck as me. After a few Google searches lead me to WTF, Pinterest and Pinterest, you are drunk I knew that I had found myself a membership into a sorority full of pinners gone bad. I loved it.

About two weeks after my initial late night session, I have pretty much moved on from the obsession. My relationship with Pinterest can be pretty much equated to my relationship with other fads gone by like colored denim, stretch pants and rompers: Great to look at, but not so great to put on. And that's now fine with me.