Do You Find It Pinteresting?

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In case you hadn’t heard, Pinterest is the new obsession. Folks are spending hours, days, weeks pinning cool things on the internet to their pinboards.

And I don’t use the word obsession lightly. I’ve crossed paths with a few pin-aholics. You can spot them whenever there’s an entire spread of similarly themed pins that goes on for miles in your Pinterest stream. I dunno; scrolling through a hundred pictures of owls prompts me to click, “unfollow all.”

Personally, I have found a lot of really cool things on Pinterest, like my hairdo. And I’ve benefited from the visual style of bookmarking. I actually go back to the things that I have pinned. There’s no shortage of inspiration on Pinterest.

However, there’s a flip side to using this new avenue of social media:

  • your exposure to awkward or inappropriate images increases, without a lot of control
  • folks can talk snarky about a pin without the author having a chance to respond
  • it’s a time suck

Thankfully, early on in my pinning career, I set a limit for myself. I could read the writing on the walls and knew that less is more. Did I ever tell you about my infatuation with Pacman?

Anyway, five minutes per day browsing Pinterest is good for this girl. This works for me.

But, I’m curious. Do you enjoy Pinterest? Do you have a way to limit your time? Do you see other pros or cons?

What’s Pinteresting to you?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Natalie says

    I agree with some of the inappropriate images, especially of half naked women. So, when I “pin”, I don’t do it in front of my children or husband. It has been a very helpful resource though. For me, I mainly use it for homeschooling, crafts for the kiddos, and recipes. I set a limit of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening before bed. I do pin as I go through my Google reader feed if there are any good recipes or ideas on the blogs I follow but that’s real quick and using the “pin it” tool task is great.

    Thanks for the good reminder though!!!! I can see how one can get really “sucked” into it.

  2. I use Pinterest sparingly now, simply because it can really eat up time. For now, I use it on weekends or Friday nights, when I have some free time. I stopped pinning on weekdays because I wouldn’t realize that half an hour had gone by on some nights, and I’d get less sleep as a result. πŸ™‚ Moderation, moderation. That’s the mantra with me concerning Pinterest. πŸ™‚

  3. Good post– when I joined Pinterest, I used it mainly to excavate my bookmarks folders– a visual filing system means I have made more of the recipes and projects that would have been bookmarked and forgotten in the past. I follow some boards, especially those of a few friends, but have not gotten as much into the “Social media” side of Pinterest. I like that I can go to my own boards and see, for example, a page of all the chicken recipes I’ve pinned to plan menus.

    As you mentioned, I don’t hesitate to “unfollow” someone for offensive or repetitive content, and I always follow a pin to the source before I repin– to ask myself of that pin is something I’m really going to do/make/use.

    It’s good to think carefully about any new tool.

    • Missy – I agree (and try to do the same) about following a pin to the original source before repinning. It just seems like the nice thing to do – plus, it allows me to read the whole article and see if it’s actually something I’d want to do (like you said). Often, I find that I love the photo, but once I read the “How To”, I know I’ll never follow through on it! πŸ˜‰

      • Carrie– Exactly! I know I might as well read the recipe, or skim the instructions for the craft, because there’s no use in pinning something that is an “Um, not likely!” from the beginning!

    • BethB says

      I do the same with regard to repinning. I follow the link and then create a pin of my own.

      What drives me nuts about Pinterest is it shows me random pins from people I’m not following (and even when I try to unfollow them they still show up) and not nearly enough pins from people I am following. Maybe this is the point? I’ve dug around my settings and can’t seem to get this worked out. Is this the way it works or am I missing something?? Honestly, that’s mostly why I rarely look at things other people have pinned.

      • Alison says

        Select Pinners You Follow instead of All at the top of the page (when you’re logged in)

  4. BethB says

    I love Pinterest and have managed to keep the time suck aspect of it down. Which is kind of funny because I’ve had to leave several message boards and Facebook because I’m terrible at online time management with those things. Anyway, the thing with Pinterest is I very rarely look at what others have pinned. I’m aware I’m missing the point. πŸ™‚ I use it as a way of bookmarking things, mostly recipes, for myself so I can easily access them later. Our kitchen computer (Netbook) is super slow and a pain to browse on so I pin recipes when I’m on our regular computer and pull them up in the kitchen when I go to cook. Works great so far. Even if my boards do make me look like I’m super obsessed with food.

  5. I really dont like it..Im not a browser by nature so I think that’s one reason I havent got sucked into it

  6. I find that it can suck your time away faster than you realize, but I’ve certainly gotten better about how I use my time on Pinterest. For example, I love finding dinner inspiration and recipes when I’m in the dark as to what I could make with the stuff I have on hand. I’ve also used it for holiday ideas (like my recent St. Patrick’s Day food inspiration), and have even followed through on a craft project or two. So, in the end, like everything else (blogs, FB, Twitter, TV, even books), it’s a good thing in moderation. Anything – good or bad – can take up too much of my time and leave me with a dirty house and an overflowing laundry basket, if I’m not prudent about how I use my time.

    On a secondary note, however, I’ve almost stopped visiting the “View All Pins” area because I was quite offended by some of the sexual pins that were popping up. It made me mad, actually, that there was no way that I could choose NOT to see them when they were right next to the photo of the cute craft project that I wanted to repin. THAT, is annoying. Now I just stick to pinning things myself, or looking at what my friends pin.

  7. I use it mostly for recipes, especially desserts. Typically I’ll type in a search word (like chocolate) so I don’t really see a lot of offensive things. I have found some pretty yummy looking recipes.

    I did remember you talking about finding your haircut on line so when I decided I wanted something different I looked there too but ended up asking my stylist just to “do what she wanted”.

    Spending to much time isn’t really an issue for me because I have so little time available, it really comes down to would I rather spend it pinning or writing and networking. Writing and networking usually wins out πŸ™‚

  8. Oh yes – it is a time suck. I enjoy it, but often ignore it for a couple of days. Just like Facebook!

  9. cherie says

    I love it as visual bookmarking – I love it as a way to organize what *I* want to save – but I rarely browse what other people are pinning – that’s the rabbit hole I don’t want to be stuck in!

  10. I agree with the folks above. I don’t really spend much time looking at other people’s pins, but prefer to use the site as a bookmarking tool.

    The one exception is that a dear friend of mine is getting married in the fall and is using Pinterest for much of her wedding planning so I do check in on her boards.

  11. Alison says

    I love the look of Pinterest, and a friend invited me to join so I did. I just don’t have much up there because I normally use my iPad and Pinterest doesn’t have an app for that lol!
    I could waste tons of time on it but my time is so limited now so I just leave it alone unless I’m up at three in the morning with the baby πŸ˜‰
    My husband was creeped out by Pintrest. He is a very private person and instantly felt that someone was probably already mining the site for marketing purposes… He found it odd that I would want complete strangers to know my personal tastes.
    I am trying to be careful how I use it and what I post.

  12. Andrea says

    I love the bookmarking. I can go through my email and if there is something I want to save I can bookmark it. I have been known to waste time pinning. I am a student and after I get all my homework down I relax with letting myself browse pinterest for a few minutes.

  13. I agree with many of the others. I don’t really browse pinterest a lot. I follow 20 or so people and will see what they’re pinning maybe once per week, but I don’t go looking to see what else is out there. I mostly use it to bookmark web pages (especially recipes or projects) that I’ll want to remember later. I have enough digital time-sucks in my life that I’m happy not to add another!

  14. Sarah G says

    I love pinterest. But I like it as a tool, not an obsession.

    It’s so useful to pin something that looks appealing and practical for ME and that’s where I’d like to keep it. If I think I can use the idea or would like the resource for a time it’s needed, I pin it. I usually try to check out the actual site before pinning because I’ve often noticed that it may just be a picture and not the ‘how-to’. In those cases, I skip the pin. But when it’s resourceful, I keep it. I’m just not a creative or resourceful person by nature so Pinterest is helpful.

    Also, it may help that I don’t follow a lot of people so I don’t feel like I’m bogged down with so many other pins to wade through. If I am surfing through the ‘Everything’ location, I try to be intentional to quickly move forward to avoid the inappropriate content.

    As far as the obscene pictures, I agree that I would love to be able to filter those out. I suppose one way to have ‘our voices heard’ would be to report those pins we find offensive. We are all privi to that option. Maybe over time, with more voices, the makers would get the idea and offer an option to siphon that in the future…?? No one knows how another feels without speaking up.

    Like all new-surfacing social medias, I can easily fall-prey to the competitive side of being ‘the best’ and therefore, overspending my time on one form or another which leads to me an anxiety of trying to ‘be on top’ foregoing the foremost position I have at this moment…being a faithful wife and mother. Thankfully, I do have a tender discerning heart hearing the nudge from the Holy Spirit that tells me when I am succumbing to the fall. I have had to let FB go for that reason alone. Will Pinterest be the next? Daily I keep that in check.

    Like I said, I want this to be a tool to better my foremost position rather than allow it to consume me and loving others.

    Btw, I’m “following” you! Thanks for some great resources I’ve pinned too!

  15. Angela Shrader says

    When I first was introduced to Pinterest, yes, I was sucked in, 2 weeks later I looked up from my computer πŸ˜‰ Now I use sparingly. I have made it a mission, to complete some projects before pinning anything else.

  16. Sarah says

    I love pinterest but am starting to feel a bit of nagging in the sense that my boards need some organizing. Like I need one more thing to organize!!

    • Johanna says

      Sarah, I’ve noticed the same thing! My boards are starting to have a “hodgepodge” feel to them. But I have much more pressing things to organize around here than online pinboards! lol

  17. Johanna says

    I’ve found that I love (love!) Pinterest for meal planning ideas. There’s just something about the visual aspect that makes me more likely to try something I find there than some random recipe I cut out of a magazine. It’s not too much of a time suck for me, surprisingly. I’m also using it for finding a hairstyle right now! πŸ™‚

  18. This visual girl loves Pinterest because I finally have a space to keep track of things in a way that I can find them again! I don’t spend much time at all browsing pinterest itself, but I use my “pin it” button on my browser nearly every day. And then, when I am ready to make a recipe or a craft that I remember seeing – it is easy for me to find what I am looking for!

  19. “And I don’t use the word obsession lightly. I’ve crossed paths with a few pin-aholics. You can spot them whenever there’s an entire spread of similarly themed pins that goes on for miles in your Pinterest stream.”

    Hey! I resemble that remark. LOL

    Hello… my name is Tabitha and I am Pinterest obsessed.

    I make no excuses. I got sucked into Pinterest quickly and spent an entire weekend pinning. Now, over 150 boards and 7,000 pins later, I cannot hide from the truth. I ADORE Pinterest. However, I have made some changes that limit my time:

    I pin straight from Google Reader when possible.

    I rarely go to the main website. I stick with my “pin it” button.

    If I am looking for inspiration on a particular project, I might go crazy with repins that I find through their search bar but if I am just goofing off, I try to limit myself to ten repins per visit.

    Recovery from addiction can be hard. πŸ˜‰

  20. Pinterest can be a time waster, just like most social media. I enjoy Pinterest but I go to the site for a specific purpose- I like to search for decorating styles and ideas. I’ll use the search bar and I get a handful of ideas. I also like looking at it for party ideas, but no I won’t get on and just roam πŸ˜‰

  21. I’ve been using it as a search engine of sorts. When I’m looking for, say, some free printable preschool worksheets for my kids, I look for it on Pinterest. Everybody’s already found the good stuff, and I can see at a glance whether it’s what I’m looking for or not. Randomly browsing, however, can get me in a lot of trouble timewise. I haven’t had too much trouble with bad images, but I do unfollow people at the first hint of something objectionable in their feed.

  22. Melissa T. says

    I love pintrest. I’m extremely visual and love the ideas I get from browsing through the pics. I even started a board of things I actually tried thanks to pintrest. I do go to the “everyone” boards, but ignore the snarky comments. If I see a questionable photo I immediately report it. I personally think pintrest has done a great job keeping that stuff to a minimum considering the vast amounts of users. I do hope in the future they have an option for private pinning, where a board can be seen by only yourself or others you designate.

  23. I love it, in moderation. I really like the visual nature of the pins. I can find my favorite resources FAST this way. It’s also been really useful for collaborative research (for work), and for sharing church ideas, foods, and party ideas with my oldest daughter and friends.

    I tend to not look at the “All of Pinterest” area (Pinners I Follow is where I’ll browse); I do tend to add my own pins, rather than re-pin, for the most part.

    As with anything, it can be inappropriately used. So far, so good, with balance for my own needs and my household!

  24. i enjoy it but don’t find it to be much of a time-suck. i check what people i follow are pinning twice a week and love searching for new recipes. other than that, i don’t spend much time on it.

  25. LOL about owls. I generally “like” images while I’m on my iPad and then when I’m on the laptop, I’ll repin them into certain categories (I haven’t been able to figure out how to scroll on the iPad, so I just like stuff for later). So if you did follow me, you might have gotten a stream of “Joy”. πŸ˜‰

    I like Pinterest b/c I get exposure to lots of creativity. I’ve already tried out quite a few things, and I’m hooked. What a great way to share ideas.

    I don’t generally spend more than 10 mins a day on it. Sometimes several days go past and I don’t visit. I mean, how many cupcake recipes does one truly need?!

  26. I love pinterest & like many others have said I use it mainly as an online visual organizing tool. I have used lots of recipes that I’ve gotten on pinterest & also organizing tips, crafts etc. I’m NOT a creative person by nature so pinterest has given me the creative ideas I need for decor & crafts etc. It has saved me time & money. But I mainly look at the people’s boards that I follow & rarely do an entire pinterest browse. I also created a board of all the pins I’ve done, it helps me to not just pin, pin, pin & never do. πŸ™‚

  27. I have not had too much trouble with inappropriate images- I don’t “explore” the general pins. I follow those I know I am likely to appreciate their tastes. My favorite thing is being able to “pin” my own finds from the web. Isn’t it interesting that people always find a way to spoil the fun with snarky comments and such. What happened to all getting along? I once pinned a picture of a dog for my boys and titled it something to the effect “funny looking dog”. Boy, did that get a nasty (far beyond snarky) comment. I was shocked. Like with any forum, I try to stay in my little online bubble of nice people who I trust.

  28. Do you enjoy Pinterest?

    ABSOLUTELY!! As a teacher of preschool and toddler children, I have found many “new” science ideas. ( Is anything ever new or just redone?) And the recipes!! Oh my, there are definitely some fantastic ones. I LOVE the site.

    I have only come across a few indecent images. Probably because I choose to look at the posts from the people I follow and who have looked at my posts.

    Like you though, I HAVE to limit the time I spend on it or the time saving hints I get from Pinterest wouldn’t be worth anything! πŸ™‚

  29. “it’s a time suck”. It definitely can be! I deactivated my Facebook once my son was born for the same reason, but I’m happy to say that I’ve [mostly] stuck with my 5-10 minute Pinterest time limit since signing up, and I really do go back to things I’ve pinned again and again.

  30. First of all, I have to say that I am really enjoying your posts lately. The same thoughts and ideas have been swirling through my own brain. πŸ™‚ Pinterest is a great tool, but it is also a waster, like you said. I usually hit Pinterest a few times a week and try to be brief. I agree that you can see improper images as well, and that is frustrating! I don’t like having images “thrown” at me that pollute my mind and soul.

  31. Amy Grace says

    Pinterest is a “reward” for work well done. I usually only go on for a few minutes (usually 5, but 20 maximum) shortly before bedtime. I find looking at the pretty things relaxing and it gets me ready to unwind.

    But I confess that when I am exhausted and overwhelmed, I can use it as an avoidance/escape and that creates guilt that is just not worth it.

  32. Jennifer Samsom says

    I feel so left out! Anyone willing to send me an invite?

  33. I love pinterest!! It helps me so much!! And got rid of my magazine subscription binders full of ideas!! I get ideas for homeschooling, crafts, recipes, organizing, the list goes on. If I stay to the list of people, I follow, I never run into inappropriate things. Had to think about WHAT you were talking about since I never run into it! πŸ™‚

  34. Lisa S says

    Maybe my computer is slow, or I am, but I can’t even manage my email from taking too much time each day. I can’t imagine what would happen if I facebooked, tweeted, or pinned. I’ve stuck with just bookmarking the things I need. I know I miss out on a lot of coupons etc. for not having facebook but I haven’t been able to see it being worth the loss of time yet.

  35. I actually run into more 12 million owls or cute front porches than anything inappropriate…it also prompts an unfollow. While I love a good porch as much as the next person my home won’t allow for that remodel and 3 or 4 is quite enough, thanks. Now..laundry room makeovers I could use more of!

  36. Nicki says

    I love Pinterest. I am a natural hoarder, but I hate clutter. Pinterest allows me to ‘collect’ without having to store any physical ‘stuff’. I get a real buzz researching things and love the fact I can collate it all somewhere that looks all pretty ;o) I don’t actually find it a time suck. I don’t feel I need to make a point of visiting the site daily, as I know some Facebookers do, I guess I just use it as a tool.

  37. I tend to use pinterest more as a place to organize the things that I would formerly bookmark, more recipes than anything else. (Although, I live in a rural are of the Congo, and don’t have ingredients to make most of it. Maybe someday!)
    I’ve never really gotten sucked into social media, etc. I’ve never watched a lot of TV or movies, I still like books and handwritten notes. I do have e-mail, blog, facebook, google reader etc, but I struggle to keep up with communications with family and friends. On the plus side, I guess I get more done “in real life.”

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