I’m walking away from Pinterest. Don’t worry. This is not a permanent change. Just temporary. For the month of February, I am staying off Pinterest. Ironically, I have chosen the shortest month of the year. Trust me, this was not intentional. My use of Pinterest has been weighing heavily on my mind over the last few weeks.
Here’s how it all started
I heard about a German study that found that one in three Facebook users felt worse after visiting the site. This was especially if they just browsed. The researchers believed this was because people felt envious or dissatisfied with their lives after looking at other people’s posts and pictures of joyous life events – winter vacation photos, how many birthday wishes someone received, or even how many “likes” someone’s photo received. Browsing made them envious, and therefore worse.
This got me to thinking about how I feel after I browse Pinterest.
Oddly enough, my Pinterest use has increased since the twins were born. You read that right. I have two newborns at home, and I’m using Pinterest more. I recently got a new iPhone, which has the Pinterest app. Before the phone, I couldn’t justify spending much time sitting in front of my computer, browsing the internet. But now, my phone (and Pinterest) are with me everywhere I go.
I started using the time when I would pump breast milk as Pinterest time. “What else am I going to do?” Then I started using it when I did nighttime feedings for the babies. “They’re asleep. How would they notice?” In the car. “J is focusing on driving, so I’ll browse Pinterest.” Never mind that this is quality alone time where I could me unwinding and clearing my mind or J and I could be talking, baby-free. Do I really need any more stimulation in my life?
I often justify my Pinterest browsing in one of three ways. One: I am gaining valuable knowledge and ideas for things to do with the babies. Two: I am finding projects to do when my sister (who isn’t even pregnant) brings me my first niece or nephew. Three (my most common justification): I am getting inspiration for my blog.
The only problem with all of these? I have enough inspiration from Pinterest to last me several years worth of projects. Plus I found myself growing increasingly envious and even unhappy. I found so many birth announcements that were way cuter than mine, great nursery ideas that I loved much more than the theme I had chosen, projects that I didn’t have time to tackle, pictures of dream houses made me feel inadequate in our townhome rental.
I have been blessed in so many ways. I have two beautiful and healthy children, a family who loves and supports me, and more material possessions than many, many other people on this planet.
So this month I am stepping back and re-focusing. I will enjoy the time that I spend feeding the babies or alone in the car with J, and focus on these relationships. I will focus my energy in being creative and content in the space that I have right now. And most importantly, I will make a conscious effort to be grateful for the innumerable blessings that have been bestowed upon me.
Will you join me? You don’t have to quit cold turkey. But I would encourage you to at least reflect on how Pinterest makes you feel and why you use it. I would also love to hear your feedback. How do you use Pinterest?