How to Use Pinterest Without Going Insane

by Beth Anne on April 3, 2014

I am a huge fan of Pinterest, if you couldn’t tell by the 3,350 pins I’ve drooled over in the past year or even the blog posts I’ve written on Pinterest strategy for business. For years I catalogued things I loved or admired in journals & on Tumblr & magazines clippings pinned to my corkboard & recipes stuck on my fridge. Then Pinterest came along & offered me a single place to keep all that glorious inspiration.

I’ve noticed over the past year that some of my dearest friends have walked away from Pinterest – it’s too competitive, too keeping-up-with-the-Jones, too materialistic. I understand those feelings because I’ve seen how blogs & birthday parties & Christmas decorating have changed since the birth of Pinterest. It’s easy to lose perspective in a sea of Martha Stewart perfection. It’s easy to forget that the perfectly coordinated outfit is edited & the decorated living room is freshly dusted. So when I log into Pinterest, I keep in mind that I am there for eye candy – pretty things to make me forget about my piles of laundry rather than pressure to create the perfectly organized laundry room. For me, Pinterest is about escape & inspiration, rather than a hand-book for how to be a woman.
bethannepinterest1 How to Use Pinterest Without Going Insane

I like to use it to learn how to style my new, shorter hair. I’ve had long hair for so long that I admit to being a little lost with hair that brushes my shoulders. There have been so many times that I’ve jumped onto Kate’s board to find a quick upgrade for my weekend ponytail. I’m not very good at “being a girl,” so Pinterest is the perfect way for me to discreetly try to learn how to do my hair & more importantly, pull up easy reference when I’m attempting it for the first time (or second or third, let’s be honest).

I use it almost daily to gather ideas for how to organize my small guest bedroom & office combo. My ideas for the office have run the gamut from being shoved into a walk-in closet to building a corner desk to just buying a Pottery Barn knock-off. So while we’re in planning mode, trying to figure out how a double bed & big desk can live together, I catalogue color schemes & art work that would both inspire me & please the overnight guests.
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I use it to pull inspiration for work. I constantly create content for my clients, which means I need a constant source of inspiration. Pinterest is pulled up to my desktop throughout the day to help spark ideas & plays on words & make me laugh when I’m so frustrated that I want to cry. I use it to be a more fun & creative mom because on my own, I’m dull as brown rice. I love to follow boards like Disney’s The Pirate Fairy (based on the all-new Tinkerbell movie, The Pirate Fairy now available on Blu-ray and Digital HD) because crafts! food! games! all in one place. On my own, I would never think to make pirate sandwiches & pirate pops or help Harry create pirate ships from egg crates, but by pulling ideas from moms who are far more craft-inclined than me, I can provide easy fun for my kiddo.

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I use it to dream about the future & the past. I pin beautiful nurseries on days when I think of another little one in our arms & on the days when I wish I could get married all over again, I pin cotton boutonnieres & fluffy white dresses.

I know Pinterest can seem intimidating & trivial but I think if you remind yourself that life isn’t lived inside a DSLR & Lightroom, it can be the most powerful tool for creating a beautiful life.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

marisab April 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

I agree I love pinterest…now if I can figure out how to create those cute buttons that are on everyone’s blogs that would be terrific….I am now following you; my favorite that I created are …well I love all my boards but my favs are “lovely things my hubby should give me” and “great women of history” Thanks for sharing Marisa

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Beth Anne April 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Like the button up on the right hand of my blog under my picture? :) That’s a widget – I use Simple Social Icons but there are a ton out there!

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Jess April 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm

I love me some Pinterest. Hard core. I use it a lot for recipes because I go back to see the same ones that I use, and new ones that I’ve pinned lately.

Right now my big thing is planning Allie’s third birthday. Whether half of these come to fruition is a whole other story…

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Beth Anne April 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Some of my favorite new recipes are from Pinterest. We did the “Better Than TakeOut Fried Rice” & LOVED it.

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DeNae April 4, 2014 at 12:48 am

Ugh. Thank you for this. I like pinterest for homeschool ideas and new recipes, but the house and birthday party stuff drives me batty. I had all those birthdays before pinterest happened and I still turned a new age without a themed, bajillion dollar party. We are very low key in the party department and it’s easy to feel scrutinized. Oh well, that is an evil of social media, but there are plenty of positives, too.

And, can I say how happy I am that you’re blogging regularly again without sounding like a crazy stalker lady? Hope so, because I just did.

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Sarah C. April 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I love Pinterest. Yes, it can get crazy if you try to “do it all.” Impossible. I use it for inspiration for improvements in our new home, recipes to mix up our menu, and, like you, a bit of day dreaming.

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Melody T. April 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I’m with you on the Pinterest thing! I try to limit the boards and people that I follow to things I am actually interested in and will do so that I don’t get overwhelmed. My mom threw great, fun, simple birthday parties for us growing up and now I use Pinterest for birthday party inspiration(among other things), and then SIMPLIFY it a lot! No 3 year old needs a birthday party that costs $400! The kids won’t even remember it and how on earth would people afford that kind of thing for every birthday, holiday, etc…? So happy I found your blog, I’m excited to follow along.

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Sarah April 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm

It might be taking the “social” out of a social media network but I don’t spend that much time looking at what other people pin. I pin stuff that I find on blogs or sites that are relevant to me. Occasionally I’ll do some re-pins but Pinterest is primary my place to save stuff I like or want to remember.

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Beth Anne April 11, 2014 at 10:33 am

I think that’s a fantastic way to do it & not feel the pressure of comparison :)

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Amy April 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

Amen. Totally. Thank you! I stopped after awhile because the insecurity crept up.

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