Just read an amazing post over at Coletterie : There Is Always Something More to Buy
You ‘ll have to read it. It addresses the Inspiration/Consumer Black Hole problem that many people struggle with when it comes to Pinterest.
Some of the comments were particularly interesting. These really made me think.
“I was just thinking last night that I need to limit my Pinterest time! (Seriously.)
First I was obsessed with certain blogs; now I’ve transferred that obsession to Pinterest. I feel like a hypocrite because while I tout that I’ve changed my attitude towards consumption (per my last blog post!) I still find myself seriously wanting stuff I don’t need. Initially Pinterest seemed very useful to me, allowing me to curate my style board with looks and “uniforms” that I loved so that I would stop filling my closet with impractical fantasy pieces and orphans that don’t go with anything. But it has evolved into something that has made me want (and “need”) items to complete said uniforms and fill those imaginary holes in my wardrobe.
A couple of questions that I try to keep in mind if I find myself wanting something:
1. The William Morris quote “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Do I truly love this? Do I really need it?
2. “Will buying this really make me a happier person?” Oftentimes the answer is No.
The above usually helps but is not foolproof. :)” Jen
“I totally get this. I come from a family where a bargain was best and the more I could get for my money the better. As I’ve grown I’ve come to realise that the desire for a bargain is ingrained in me BUT I think it’s about only buying what I LOVE and surrounding myself with only things that make me happy. I started doing that a while ago and it does help to say no to the bargain staring me in the face. Do I need it? No. Do I love it? No. Walk away.” Juliette
“I find it interesting how struggles like this are understood and felt by so many people. It’s comforting to know you’re not alone and aren’t the only one. I also find it interesting that so many people do the same thing of inspiration collecting, which I do too. I tend to inspiration shop around etsy and google images as I’m still getting to know pinterest.
I never have (and still haven’t) really gotten addicted to pinterest, and am just now finally fiddling with it. Part of the reason being the fact that it IS so overwhelming, and I just didn’t want to deal with it. I can be sensitive to sensory overloads. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own sources of inspiration gorging, but it’s just something specific to pinterest.
My husband and I made the decision to not have cable early on in our marriage. This was in part to save money, and in part because we knew it would be easy for us to just sit in front of the TV all day. I began to notice an enormous decrease in my desire for stuff as a result of not having a constant stream of advertisements in our home. The other things I’ve noticed is that with sewing I don’t have blanket desires to just go shopping. When I finally do break down to get a new pair of jeans because my 10 yr. old pair has finally bitten the dust, I become so overwhelmed by the mall or places where ‘BUY, BUY, BUY!’ is shouted everywhere that I just want to get out as quickly as possible. It’s like being in a pressure cooker.
All of this resulted in me really taking a look at our ‘buy’ culture, and how it’s affected me over time. I went from barely getting by because I was spending all my money on stuff to now saving everything and trying to make a conscious effort to buy smart. Another rule I’ve begun to implement is that each object I make or buy needs to replace something so that that way there isn’t a constant stream of more and more stuff coming into the house, but it either stays the same or decreases. I particularly like this rule when it comes to my wardrobe. However, some things are exceptions to the rule in that I make something my wardrobe needs versus another version of something I already have 10 of…and then there’s my book collection…… :-)” Rachel W
“This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. How much more do I need anyway? I’m even planning to try to decrease my possessions with 25% by selling or giving away. Which is a lot.
Also, I want to try to make more of my own clothes. I knit a lot, so that part is covered. Slowly, my sewing abilities get better, so hopefully I’ll be able to have a completely me-made (and vintage) wardrobe in the near future!
The energy you put in making your own clothes (or other things, for that matter – I grow my own food for example) is something I value more and more. I also like the pace of making your own things. It’s completely the opposite of the fast, low quality and dishonest consumer culture we’re living in right now.” Lieke
“Great post…I thoroughly agree with you on the overwhelming nature of Pinterest. However, I think it can go beyond overwhelming to feelings of inadequacy. That, somehow, my life is not pretty, cute, crafty, sassy, sexy, whatever enough. There is a huge disconnect between “real” life and the fantasy presented on Pinterest. You’re right, you can’t have it all. I think if you use Pinterest as inspiration for your own style/creative persuits it’s fine, but can become damaging if it is turned into a shrine of desire. We’re all OK just the way we are and how we are; the more we realize that, the more the consumerist walls come down.” Kat
“I’m not on pinterest, so take my comments with a grain of salt. But, I’m skeptical of this idea that it’s positive to be fixated on consumption via one’s imagation. In reality, when we are consumers, we have to make all kinds of decisons about the cost and utility of the things we buy. In the imaginary space of pinterest, these barriers and constraints are removed. What we’re left with is the aspirational part of consumerism. The aspirational part of consumerism is what makes it most dehumanizing, I think. We aren’t doing anything when we pin things we desire, we aren’t producing anything, we aren’t getting anything except that feeling of maybe being a better, more interesting, more talented person. It appears to me that that aspect of consumerism is magnified and isolated in most pinterest boards. I understand that lots of people do interesting things with pinterest. But for the most part, I think pinterest de-contextualizes consumption in the same way that Facebook de-contextualizes friendships. And, I see it fatiguing people in a similar way.” Jordan
How do you feel about Pinterest? Do you find it inspirational in it’s proper place or a black hole that sucks you in for hours and leaves you frustrated and wanting things you can’t have?