I'm Stephanie.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

post xiii: Pinterest: What the Fuck Does it All Mean?

Since graduation, I've been a bit aimless - aimless by my own standards, meaning I haven't been wildly productive, I haven't been working steadily, haven't been reading enormous amounts of poetic and literary theory, haven't been writing for deadlines because it is required of me, haven't been seeking publication as I should be doing (I can hardly swallow the chalky bitterness of the word should), and haven't even been, overall, making the most of this window of time where I can do whatever the fuck I want...within reason.

But I have been reading shitloads of fiction and poetry.  I have been writing some, but certainly not nearly enough.
I have been invited to and have presented at the NULC, where I felt intensely in my element.
I have been accepted into the best MFA program I could have hoped for, and have enrolled in CU Boulder's graduate school.
I have been working out, taking care of my body, and feeding it appropriately, and trying to grow my perpetually-pixie esque hair back into the mane it was at age 13.
I have made even more new friends, and am so grateful for everyone I meet, so that in friendship we can compliment each others' experiences in being alive.  That may sound like a bit much...but that is what friendship, in a nutshell, is to me.
Something else that I have done, in tandem with my acquisition of a real life SmartPhone, has been that I have joined Pinterest.
...And holy fuck...what, oh what, does Pinterest mean?

At first, I was like, yay recipes!  Here's an easy, neat way of organizing the things I want to make, and the things I have made and will make again, and the pictures are all straight-up food porn.  So initially, I was mildly excited, like, Oh fuck yeah, I didn't know you could do that with eggplant!  Mmm, yes an all-mushroom board!  This person knows their shit...Holy balls that's a cool looking cake!  I must make it...

But soon, it became that cake is really fuckin' cool, but I could never make it, and would never want to make it,, but I'm going to 'pin' it anyway so that I can look at it and think...'that cake is really fuckin' cool, but I could never make it, and would never want to make it, but I'm going to...' and so on and so on and so on, and I get caught in these spinning wheels of thought that only Pinterest could have awoken in me.  Even the "P" symbol for Pinterest displays a sort of circular kind of insanity that makes me think immediately of my thought processes as I've skimmed boards and hit "Repin" apparently 1, 073 times, pressed "Like" 47 times, and "Create Board" 32 times.  I have a board called "Whales" because I can't fucking get over Moby Dick.
But wouldn't the better thing to do, when I can't get fucking over something be to write about it?  To run it out?  Instead of to pin about it?  Another new verb in a new context.  "To pin."  I just barely got comfortable with Facebook's new set of verbs, and the idea that so many verbs can exist in a space that we cannot even touch, taste, or walk through.
But now there is "to pin," which should evoke some sort of action due to its role as verb, but it seems to be much more about the undoing or delaying of actual action in an actual world. 

I see the point for those who are actually industrious, and who do actually plan things like weddings and baby ensembles for an actual baby, but I am a future grad student coming to terms with the fact that I am sometimes intimidated by myself, and my thoughts, and even by my own past successes, and have been using Pinterest as an escape.  This is not, I repeat, not, healthy, because according to Pinterest's inspirational pins, "Happiness is when what you say and what you do are the same thing."  And would I have admitted before now, without the protective wrapping that writing offers me, that I've been dicking around on Pinterest most mornings since graduating?  No.  I would not.

So I've used their pro-tips on how to make all-natural peppermint spider repellent, and how to clear a drain with baking soda and vinegar.  I've organized outfits that I've actually emulated in real life, and I've been truly pleased by some of the creativity Pinterest has to offer.  Sometimes it can be fun to connect with others.  I made my mom a "Mom" board that's just full of the things that I think would make her happy, like lemon cheesecake recipes and Bichon Frise puppies.

And there surely must be a place in the universe for things like this:

But the fact remains that I am not a healthier, happier, more fashionable, more fit, nor most of all, more inspired person for having begun using Pinterest.  If anything, I am on my ass for longer in the morning, and am less inspired as instead of reading poems on my porch swing outside with coffee, I am looking at porch swings that are more beautiful than mine on Pinterest, and am in the pursuit of the perfect ab workout, but most importantly, the perfect image to represent said workout.

I kind of can't help but seeing Pinterest as just another way in which humans are obsessed with territoriality and materiality, but the funny thing is, that there is no real territory, and no real material, just the material Pinterest represents.  So we claim the representations.  We own advertisements.  We create "Boards" and try to reach some accumulation of something notable within ourselves, when really, we might be letting ourselves down.

I certainly do think there is a place in this world for tuning out, for making plans that may never happen, for daydreaming, for just looking at pretty things for awhile...but am I alone in voicing that it can get out of control?  That instead of making people happier and more industrious or creative, it can just be that sort of diversion that keeps you from your own self and your own actual experiences?  I'm sure not, as when one types in "pinterest" to Google search, "pinterest addiction" comes up fairly readily.  But what is this "addiction" telling us?   What about ourselves wants to stake such claims upon materiality in an intangible realm, wants to apply verbage to a place where action can't exist and thusly avoid real action?  And to be susceptible to an "addiction" characterized by a fixation on doing exactly this?

Why are we so obsessed with diversion, and thusly sharing these diversions with the cyber versions of our friends, building our cyber egos, and creating boards of diverse and pleasing self representation when the actual self is just clicking and staring, repeatedly, believing they are building some kind of legitimate foundation for self?

Emma Watson, she's so pretty, gonna pin her; POGS!  I had POGS, gonna pin POGS; Fucking balls I wanna be rich rich rich and have a pool grotto, but who will clean the pool grotto?  That would suck.  Hiring someone would just be contributing to social stratification, but so would having a pool grotto in the first place.  Shit.  I guess having a pool grotto would be absolutely terrible.  Fuck it, I'm pinning it.  Ohhh man I need a food dehydrator so I can make my own flax chips and go on an all raw foods diet and get glowing skin and stronger nails and OH FUCK IT I can just take Biotin and pin it!  Yes, Biotin, and put olive oil and oats and cat drool in my hair so it will be so shiny and grow as fast as Rihanna's seems to with her fucking extensions and that super cool eye makeup from that pin that I pinned the shit out of, like when I pinned the shit out of those Henry David Thoreau quotes and those super cool DIY things with the...

Meh, I'm all out of thoughts about Pinterest for now.  I feel like I proved no point, but that isn't gonna bug me.  Not talking about how weird I think Pinterest is getting was going to bug me.