Delicious looking chocolate fudge-cakes for two. Pin. Dream kitchen with marble countertops and stone edging. Pin. Sparkly red and gold nails for the holiday season. Pin. Beautiful up-do for future wedding. Pin. Gorgeous engagement photos in the winter snowfall. Pin. Delectable desserts for the big day. Pin. Lace dresses. Sparkly dresses. Really attractive groomsmen. DIAMONDS. Pin. Pin. Pin. Pin.
Many social networking users may argue whether Pinterest actually qualifies as a social media site. But what exactly defines social media? Social media sites are places where users can share with other users, and show common interest. Where else would you “pin” your future engagement ring so everyone can see it? Pinterest is all about followers and liking each other’s choice in cat sweaters.
But what is Pinterest doing besides giving you thirty-seven pumpkin recipes to try this fall? One single word. You’ve got it… Expectations. Many users, myself included, have pinned things they want in their futures. These future aspirations may actually get in the way of happiness if these expectations are not achieved. According to NBC Today, 42% of women on Pinterest experience what is called “Pinterest Stress”. These women feel the need to make their child’s Disney Frozen cake perfect, or their chalkboard signs truly inspirational for the holiday season. When these projects don’t turn out as expected it can leave the creator feeling discouraged and unhappy.
But what does this have to do with relationships you ask? Well my friends, let me fill you in on a little secret of mine…
Hi. My name is Sarah, and I’m a Pinterest addict. I have over twenty boards filled with well over 3,000 pins. These boards range from fashion, to DIY projects; from exercise tips to food that will make you gain weight just by looking at the pictures. But by far, the board that has over 1,000 pins by itself is my “Happily Ever After” board. Doesn’t that just give you the warm fuzzies thinking about my fantasy life? I thought so… I’m the type of girl who has everything planned down to a T. My future dog breeds (English Bulldog, and Husky mix), future home (None other than a Victorian mansion of course), and every last detail of my future 1920’s themed wedding day. But there is one thing that seems to be missing. A groom. No matter how much someone plans for his or her future there is no guarantee that any of this will even be in store for me. Having high expectations can give a false sense of reality, and some day we, myself included, will have to wake up and realize that maybe a mansion won’t be in my future…
Having these high expectations going into a relationship can create its own challenges. When seeing crafts or gifts that other users made, one might wonder why they have never received something that cute from a significant other. They might start to question a lot of things after seeing what Pinterest has to offer. This, however, is only one type of relationship that Pinterest may have an affect on.
Pinterest is all about sharing common interest with friends and gaining followers. According to Psychology Today, when a person pins something they are interested in, and a friend decides to re-pin that picture it changes from you liking the picture, to “we” like the picture together. Pinning things that your friends like is a way to connect with them, and show similar interest in each other’s lives. This is a great way to show the things you like, without having the “Instagram Effect” according to News Ok, for example. The Instagram Effect is having envy over another person’s pictures that they post. Most users re-pin other images found on Pinterest and usually not from their own lives. This makes Pinterest a friendly way to share ideas without having to envy each other in the mean time. Sharing is caring!
Pinterest may also help in friendship type relationships in that it gives a world of possible crafts, and other activities. While much of social media is simply based on communicating online, and staying online, Pinterest opens up ideas that one can take back in to their day-to-day lives. Finding common interests is one thing, but actually living out these interests is what can help relationships through Pinterest.
Three of your friends re-pinned your tie-dye cake idea? That’s great! Invite them over to make it! There are clear ways in which you can use Pinterest for the better, and not let expectations get in the way. Using Pinterest for fun can help strengthen your relationships and keep you and your friends involved. However, you can be easily swept into the expectation game, and be disappointed when things do not turn out the way you had planned it. Being aware of the positives and negatives of this type of social media will surely help you on your way.
Need a laugh? Visit the link below,
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a recipe to make…
Posted by Sarah,
MSUM Senior Psychology Student