* This is a really long post, so it will be truncated about 1/2 way down! xo
I am feeling a little bit of apprehension about writing this post. I feel like I might be walking into a lion’s den wearing a Lady Gaga meat suit. People are fiercely protective of their pins. But me and a few of my blogging besties have noticed things changing with the great P and so I asked in the State of the Blog survey how you were feeling about it. Please remember that these are just my feelings about it, and you might think I am totally wrong. That is ok! Everyone is free to share their thoughts in the comments below!
The responses are out of this world amazing. You guys have so much great insight into what is going on!
So let me tell you how I am feeling about the whole situation. Granted this isn’t just a Pinterest problem, but I think that it is totally compounded by Pinterest. As technology gets faster, and the wait time for gratification is becoming shorter we are becoming greater consumers. Not consumers like the purchasing type (though that has increased too) a consumer like PacMan. Everything has a shorter life span, because we want something different and new and exciting. Always consuming, always on the move. Almost without thought.
When you are connected with what more than 70 million people think is cool, it loses its sparkle a lot faster.
I think that we have an inherent need to be individuals and the more people jump on an idea, the less individualized we feel. Perfection makes us less of an individual.
We have become inspiration addicts. We love the feeling of having our mind blown and seeing just what is possible. But like any good drug, finding our fix in outside sources leaves us feeling empty and like we are not good enough.
I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.
I feel like screaming STOP THE MADNESS every time I get on there.
So why do I hate Pinterest? Not because it isn’t a great tool, but because it becomes so simple to think like a minion. I get on and all of a sudden, I need an all white kitchen that I home school my kids in, while prepping a month’s worth of gluten free Crockpot dinners for under $18, and doing 50 lunges, 65 sit ups, 74 jumping jacks (you get where this is going) for the perfect bikini ready butt that will go SO perfectly with my sock bun.
To me Pinterest has the power to be exhausting, overwhelming, and a creativity killer. It is so easy to forget what you like when you are surrounded by gorgeous images of what everyone else likes. It is the ultimate form of adult peer pressure.
I hate that Pinterest takes all of the credit away from the people that actually create the content. How many times has this happened to YOU? You hang an amazing piece of art up and your neighbor walks in and says “Oh did you get that from Pinterest?”
It is extremely easy to get caught up in the comparison game and Pinterest facilitates the game by showing you the best of the best. You don’t see anything but the money shot as you sit with a house with Cheerios mashed into the carpet. It can be really disheartening.
I love Pinterest because it has a way of connecting people that would have never connected. Yes as a blogger I do get traffic from Pinterest, last year 15.2% of the traffic on Vintage Revivals came from Pinterest, which is actually pretty dismal compared to other creative sites that have 65-80% of their coming from the big P. But I am grateful for every single reader that I have had the chance to connect with because of Pinterest.
I love that Pinterest empowers people to try new things. I know what it is like to be so scared to try something new, that you just stare at the can of spray paint in your hand and wonder if you are losing it. Pinterest makes things look easy, so people feel like they can actually accomplish them.
There really are some innovative and amazing ideas out there that Pinterest has brought to our fingertips. I mean, what would we do without Pancake batter in a ketchup bottle?
I mentioned earlier that I’ve noticed things changing and your responses to the questions make it so much more clear!
So here is what I feel like has changed.
People are repinning things less. Did you know that 80% of the pins on Pinterest are repins? Only 20% are original content. That blows my mind. Less repins can mean 1 of 2 things. People are clicking into the image before they pin it to confirm the source URL (which is AMAZING!!) and 2. They are sick of the pin everything that you look twice at, and hoard all of these ideas that you are never going to execute. The words I heard over and over in the survey were Selective and Deliberate. I applaud you.
People aren’t spending as much time on Pinterest browsing. They are using it more as a search engine like Google to search for specific things that they want.
I think that people are burnt out on perfection. I was surprised at how many of you said that you preferred blog reading to Pinterest. As a blogger all that is ever talked about is Pinterest Optimization. Optimizing your images, optimizing your site to capture the click and go traffic, optimizing your content even if that means losing your voice. But man what a breath of fresh air that was to hear that you some of you guys would rather hang out on blogs than on Pinterest. I hope (at least speaking for Vintage Revivals) that it is because you see the real life behind the projects and it doesn’t make you feel like it is unattainably perfect.
Do we as women and mothers really need to add more pressure from some made up reality to ourselves? Being creative shouldn’t be something that you do to feel like you meet the expectations of some online illusion. It should be about you and what you love. Period.
There were answers from all along the spectrum, from complete and utter devotion, to some that had a few choice words I cant actually publish on the blog.
63% of you are using Pinterest less often than you were last year, and only 8% are using it more.
The overall consensus was that:
- You guys are pinning things more deliberately.
- You hate entering giveaways that make you follow 500 bloggers that clog your feed up with crap.
- You have deleted a lot of your old pins that don’t hold value anymore
- You are using Pinterest in place of Google
- Recipes are the most popular thing that you continue to pin
- You hate how Pinterest is becoming more commercialized with larger companies and that makes it feel inauthentic
- You hate when bloggers pin the same project multiple times a day to multiple boards.
- You are using it more for inspiration vs.. specific tutorials
- You sort of hate the related pins, and view them more as spam than inspiration.
Ok this is the part where I am going to shush. Some of the responses were so insightful and eloquent and completely hilarious, I just have to share a few of my favorites with you. And just a reminder for those that didn’t take the survey, the question I posed was:
From my perspective Pinterest is changing. Do you use it the same way that you did a year ago? What has changed?
I never got into Pinterest– I knew it would create a feeling of home/life/motherhood inadequacy in me (since, ya know, my home’s not spotless & perfectly decorated and I don’t do fifteen highly educational and adorable crafts with my kids each week).
I just don’t trust it as much as I used to. There are so many claims for the “best this” and “best that” and so many claimed miracle solutions, it’s hard to sort through what is really good and what is not. So I don’t pin recipes and home solution secrets/tips very often, mostly awesome DIY projects, etc.
Mostly. I try to take extra care to pin correctly and from the original source because I am so tired of being taken to dead end pins or to the wrong site. I still really enjoy pinterest as a place to bookmark things for later and find inspiration, but I am much more wise with time management with it than this time last year.
I love pinterest, but it is overwhelming. it puts my mind into a tail spin and not always in a good way. like, I swear I was a happier person before pinterest…when I was blissfully unaware of all of the things I hadn’t made, bought or baked. and then there is the jealousy over other people’s perfect rooms. I want to go curl up in my bed and cry just thinking about it.
No. I don’t see enough variety. It’s just people copying the copy of the copy.
What changed? It has become commercial. I don’t want to see Home Depot’s ideas, I want to see Betty Sue from NY or CA or Idaho, I want to see her ideas
I’m not exactly sure how to phrase this…I’m getting the feeling from a lot of the blogs I read that their whole purpose in posting is to get pinned. I feel kind of crotchety mentioning it because it’s not like there is anything wrong with pretty pictures of nice projects, I guess I’m starting to feel a bit manipulated by it. I love blogs because each has their unique voice and when everyone starts writing to get pinned, things start to feel homogenized and generic.
I don’t really use pinterest… even though I am the target demographic (25 yo female into DIY/design). I like the more in depth instructions on how to do things from sources that I trust #pinterestcanbealiar.
No, I used to pin everything I liked that caught my eye. Now, after deleting most my pins, I only pin the ideas/recipes/images I plan on doing or take specific inspiration from. Basically at first I was a crazed person screaming “pin all the things” and now I’ve toned it down.
Totally agree. Definitely don’t use it as much as I did before. I use it mostly for recipes and large picture ideas. There seems to be so much mass produced creativity that it doesn’t seem original or all that creative anymore to me. Maybe I’m just cynical. Too many users taking over with nothing inspirational.
I used it as an inspiration site a year ago, now I use it as more of a reminder of what I want to purchase or do.
I don’t like Pinterest nearly as much as I used to. When I started using it a year ago, it was full of awesome inspiring pictures of rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, etc. Now, it’s just full of stupid blogger crafts that have been all Pinterest-i-fied.
I used to spend some time browsing pinterest for ideas, now I use it to revisit ideas that I find online directly from blogs. For instance, when I find a tutorial or reveal of a room that I want to use as inspiration I will now pin it. I also love pinterest for keeping track of recipes that I want to try. I have noticed a lot of websites crop up that use pinterest to get page views, they display round ups from other websites. Nothing worse than not being able to find the original source on a project that you want to recreate or buy!
It is more widely known and so a bit more diluted, I find I actually pin less although there us more content as a lot of it is repeated or not interesting to me. Also there are more sponsored or ad pins now.
I still use it the same. I don’t love all the new crap, giveaway, sponsored post stuff. I just want to use it as inspiration source and not just another social networking zone
I use it way less. I’m more choosy now about what things I pin. I don’t want to be one of those people who have 10000+ pins just because. I want my pins to mean something to me and be useful. Not sure yet how I feel about them throwing other people’s (those I don’t follow) pins on my home page. I think it’s really smart for bloggers to pin their own stuff for people to follow. Makes it easier than searching a blog for a specific post or tutorial.
I’m not really loving the whole “things you might also like” flavor that Pinterest has now. I appreciate that they’re trying to add value to my feed, but mostly it feels just like noise.
Yes. Gives me inspiration and hives at the same time.
I don’t use Pinterest nearly as much as I used to. I find that while it began as an elite source of the very best inspiration & tutorials, it has become too commercialized and I spend more of my time weeding through arts&crafts than actually being inspired.
I generally do use it the same though I do see the changes. The only thing that has changed for me is that I am more critical of what I pin. I try to make sure its something I really will do and not just ‘OMG that is so cute!’
Hmm. I would say I use it to buy things I like more often than just using it as a dream board now.
I’m not sure, I use it the same. I keep a lot more stuff secret so I can use it as inspiration without someone saying “I saw that on your Pinterest!” though.
I put things on my secret board MUCH more often than on any of my public boards now. I don’t always want everyone to see a project I like because then they might want to do it too and I won’t be unique.
I try to limit my use since it takes up so much time (in a good way, but a guilty way), but I suppose I’ve been using it less as tutorials and more as inspiration — I did my son’s first birthday based on a ton of ideas I got from Pinterest but only followed one tutorial to the letter; the rest, I used them as a jumping off point and put my own spin on them.
I use it roughly in the same way, but I may have gotten better at it. It’s my bookmarks, my recipe file, and my inspiration all in one. I love it so.
I used to pin everything I liked. Now I am kinda a snob and only pin the real good stuff.. and stuff I know I’ll do, use, make, cook, etc..
Agreed. Pinterest has become a huge traffic source for me and I find myself spending more time editing photos for a ‘Pinterest worthy’ shot. (Which of course is dumb bc Pinterest is a make believe world anyway, but I digress.) I think what’s changed for me is that right or wrong, I approach it more as a tool to share my ideas than collect ideas from other people.
I use it a lot more now. I think I love how I can check out my favorite designers boards. Its almost like being able to ask them for advice because you see what their picks would be.
No, I get tired of Pinterest. I get more ideas from the bloggers I subscribe to than I do on Pinterest. When I find something I’m really interested in on Pnterest, I click the link and it is either removed, broken or logged as spam. That is frustrating to me, so I rely on my bloggers instead.
i probably use it a little less. it gets overwhelming. too much about blogging, pinterest, instagram, etc can make you feel pretty inadequate over time
There is too much stupid sh*t on Pinterest… I just want to see cute home ideas, food and DIY projectors. People have bad taste and they post it on Pinterest. You and I have good taste but I don’t pin enough stuff to show the people with bad taste what is appropriate.
Ohhh Pinterest. I do love that u can lock a select few boards since I’m secretly trying to conceive my first baby an struggling with infertility. The locked pages give me an outlet and a place to put dream nursery decor and even reading material regarding the subject.
In several other ways it lacks the luster I once knew
Initially I looked at Pinterest as a source of thousands of things that I absolutely wanted to try. After a year or two of pinning happily and never DOING, I realized that there is a difference between pinning INSPIRATION and pinning things that I actually want to DO, and I try to categorize my boards accordingly. I’m not sure if this is just me, but that’s how it has changed in MY world. Also – after seeing so many “Pinterest Fails,” I now look at pins through the (cynical?) filter of “would that REALLY work?”
Hm. I don’t think that my “pinning” has changed much, but only because I was determined–from the beginning–to pin a collection that was curated just for me, and what ideas I wanted to keep, regardless of how it appeared to others, etc. So I’ve stayed pretty true to that.
I guess the one thing that has changed is how I appreciate a good picture of what I’m pinning. Saves me from having to describe it to myself in my caption. Ha.
I want to BE creative rather than pinning other peoples creativity.
I don’t get on quite as much only because I am addicted to it, but when I do get on, I have a hard time closing the window
It is commercial. It is lacking the personal quality that it had before.
I feel like I have to weed through a lot of the images. LOTS of promotion of things that no one should be doing or recreating.
I used to see it as a wonderful resource, and still do on occasion. However, as I’m t-minus 16 days from my due date with my first child, I’ve started to see it in a somewhat negative aspect, too. I feel like it causes women, both young and old, to sometimes put an excessive amount of pressure on themselves to be the perfect bride or mother or hostess or have the perfect house, etc. I know I’ve sometimes felt pressured to make my little girl’s nursery “perfect” and to be one of those photo worthy mama-to-be’s even though in my mind I knew that I was being ridiculous.
I used Pinterest for about 5 minutes before it really took off and now it’s just too overwhelming to me. I don’t think it’s healthy to take in SO much media so quickly. I’ll get off my soap box and say that I can’t really comment on the changes.
Don’t use it. Too much of a good thing.
I almost never use it anymore. I feel like it makes me want far more than I need or have time for.
I pin everything but do so little of what I pin and then feel like a failure.
I use it the same way but I feel like my feed is a little more cluttered. Part of that is my fault because I now follow more pinners but I also feel like a lot of people are pinning more, but not pinning better.
Pinterest has become very un-Pinterest like over the last year. It used to be my happy place, and now it’s just somewhere I park things.
Nope! I basically use it for free advertising! It’s so clogged up with “Best of” round ups.
I still use it for pinning from websites (and blogs) mostly and for random inspiration but I’m no longer tempted to make every pretty thing. It’s getting too crafty and I love a good craft but it’s too perfect.
yes, for the most part. It has become more of a business platform but that is not what I use the P for — I use it strictly for eye candy and stress reduction. hah!
Here are a few great tips that people gave when it comes to controlling your boards:
I pin fewer things! I have just a few boards of inspiration images, so I can track any trends I seem to be drawn to and then I just pin projects I see myself actually doing. I’m more realistic with Pinterest these days. Also, I “Like” tons of things and then when I’m ready to log off, I go through my “Likes” page and Pin anything worth saving and unlike all the pictures of puppies cuddling with babies and other things I don’t need to reference later.
I feel like I use it in a more focused way, whereas before I was pinning anything and everything vaguely interesting. But for me, it’s more about the visual brainstorming rather than articles.
I use Pinterest a lot!!!!! I break down my boards more to specifics so I can easily find an inspiration, or color board, or decor board
I have gone back and curated my boards to be more in line with my current style. At first I just pinned a million things but now I have reorganized and deleted a lot of pins so that it is actually inspiring instead of a dumping ground. I also started using Pinterest as a way to search for things rather than Google.
I am heading to ALT Summit in a few weeks and Ben Silberman (the creator of Pinterest) is one of the keynote speakers. I am hoping to corner him and ask him a few questions, do you have anything you would like to ask him?
So what do you think? Are you using Pinterest more or less? Are you using it the same way? Am I totally crazy or do you agree? If you shared a thought on the blog survey, I would love for you to chime in here and share it with everyone!