How I Use Pinterest

Inspired by my friend Laura, I will share with you why I am a Pinterest addict and how I use the site for good, not evil in my life. 😉

First off, as an INTP and information hoarder, Pinterest is the closest ally I have in internet procrastination. Before it existed, all of my random internet finds (recipes, useful tips, interesting websites, travel deals, etc.) were hoarded in a disastrously large number of bookmarks. {By the way, I told that to a friend once, who had no idea what I was talking about; she didn’t know what bookmarks were. Am I crazy or is bookmarking a normal thing to do on an internet browser??} I had my bookmarks sorted into multiple folders, and would regularly sort through the others to weed out sites that I no loner needed. When my computer suddenly crashed, one of the files I needed to recover was the doc that held all of my bookmarks! That was hours of time that I didn’t want to waste!

Now I still use bookmarks, but I don’t even know why I do, because Pinterest is there to assist my every internet searching need. I was one of the first few hundred or thousand people on Pinterest, because as soon as I learned about it, I snatched on to that opportunity like it was gold! It was right after my wedding {womp womp}, and I immediately started using the inspiration boards to compile ideas for my current & future homes, past and desired travel destinations, holiday decorations, and of course, recipes and craft projects.

About a year or two later, when more people joined the site, I realized that Pinterest was becoming less about showcasing your profile to share your ideas with others, and more about adding and browsing new pins on the home screen. Thus my usage of it turned from curating my own ideas to becoming inspired by others’ and saving those ideas to access later. When secret boards were added, I was then able to increase the productivity of the site, especially decreasing my need for browser bookmarks.

So, how do I use Pinterest? Let me start by saying I used to be much more of an addict, checking the site daily as a form of relaxation in the evenings. Now I go on occasionally, when the mood strikes me or I am searching for something in particular. But either way, I typically browse through my friends’ pins on the home screen, and when I see something that I like, I click the heart to save it in my “likes.” That way, I can quickly go through many pins without spending much time. Every so often, I go on specifically to not look at new pins, but to sort through my liked pins.

It’s important to me that I follow people that pin things that are interesting or relevant or inspiring to me. If someone creates a board for teaching or making unhealthy food, I will unfollow that board. That’s a nice benefit, that you don’t have to completely unfollow a person, but you can pick and choose the boards that you like. I will also occasionally search for new people to follow, and I can again decide whether I want to follow all of their boards, or just the puppy, travel, humor, or vegan boards of theirs.

The other time I add pins is when I’m browsing the web, a friend sends me a link, or I find a website that I want to save. I have the Pinterest button installed on my browser, so that I can add a new pin whenever I want to save something for later. I have many boards, 53 to be exact {as of today}. I create a new board whenever I want to pin something that doesn’t fall in any of the other categories. Some examples: Good Eatin (healthy lunch or dinner recipes), Outfit Inspiration (clothes I like), My Style (a collection of things that represent me, or that I want to represent me), Dreamy (beautiful pictures that have no practical purpose), and Dream House (pictures that bring to life an idea I dreamt up of a house I would like to live in/create).

Every now and then I will go through my boards and eliminate pictures that no longer bring inspiration to me. When I am looking for something, I come back to my boards (or my likes), and browse through my pins to find the idea or information I am looking for. The most commonly accessed board is Good Eatin, where I get almost all of the new recipes I try. If I need to find something, it’s easy to search for what I’m looking for by using the search feature on Pinterest, or by using “Ctrl – F” to search the page on my computer. When I’m having a bad day, I love to look through the Paws & Claws and Makes Me Smile boards.

Ultimately, I use Pinterest for inspiration. Yes, it’s great for storing recipes and websites for date ideas, but my favorite use for it is collecting images that represent who I wish to become or things I would like to incorporate into my life. My Outfit Inspiration board helps direct my wardrobe; I will pin new styles that I want to try or an article of clothing I wish to have, and keep track of those. When I go shopping, I can more easily look past clothes I would normally spend money on in favor of new things I would like to try. There are countless ideas for how to decorate my house, which has helped me an inexpressible amount, as I am not naturally gifted at decorating. My Photos board shows images that move me, which I can look back on if I need inspiration for a photo shoot.

Since having Pinterest, I think that I have become more like the person that I long to be, as I tend to be dream-focused and can leave out details. Pinterest helps me nail down an idea by coming up with the details that make up the greater picture. In other words, I have been able to transform my wardrobe into something that I believe better expresses who I am: creative, whimsical, unique. And by pinning on the My Style board, I am able to more appreciate the aspects that make me unique, like being a strange INTP who loves color but also intellect and adventure sports. Instead of comparing myself to other people by the way I talk or dress, I see myself more deeply, for all the other things that make up who I am. Does that make sense at all?

Anyways, that’s how I use Pinterest – the practical aspects and the underlying motivation. Hope this was helpful in some way!

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