Pinning Your Destruction

When I think social media, I think Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Maybe I think LinkedIn (I’m a little nerdy, okay?), but I am focused on my most frequently used apps. However, I would argue that one of the most impactful social media sites is neither Twitter, Facebook, nor Instagram. I believe that the most hard-hitting site is Pinterest.

Pinterest currently has over 100 million users, predominantly women. The number of “pins” on the site grow by 75% each year. To say the least, Pinterest is huge. It’s growing, and it is a dominant (yet subtle) force in the social media world.

Pinterest gives you a chance to learn, grow, post, and share, like any good-ole, social-media-empowering site. Pinterest also allows you to create your idealistic world, including your idealistic self.

While fitness and motivational quotes about gettin’ up and gettin’ after it seem great, they are also reminders that we are insufficient as we stand. While pictures of abs and toned quads and perfectly tanned forearms look great, they do not picture the journey and the process—but rather focus on the end result, again, reminding us of what we are not and do not have.

Perfectly straight hair is a little poke in the side that my lioness mane will probably never lie flat, and intricate eye make-up creates an unrealistic expectation of what I am going to look like Sunday through Thursday. I could probably pull off some of the layered necklaces and cute shoes, but then I realize that they are high-end boutique items and my wallet does not scream “high-end boutique” shopping.  

More than that though, I have learned that girls plan, create, and prepare a perfect wedding. I have learned that we gush over the beautiful ring, proposal video, and glamorous table placements on the big day. I’ve never had caviar, but it’s probably something that should be at a wedding, right? Pinterest gives us the platform to construe perfect bridesmaids’ dresses that will complement our groomsmen’s ties (or maybe bow-ties?). It allows us—not just allows, but encourages us—to envision every detail about the big day and, if all planning goes well, flawless moment. The season (fall or spring?!), the candid laughing photos, drinks in Mason jars, and the champagne toast that will crease the corner of your eyes as you try to hold back tears. We have unreasonable expectations for glamorizing a day that starts a life.

And life isn’t always glamorous.

Life is sticky and hard and sometimes—a mess. But we can escape our mess and romanticize about what it could be or what we could have through Pinterest. I can act like I roll out of bed with immaculate frizz-less hair. Girls can plan a wedding for the relationship they don’t currently have. We can dream about a body that will finally make us feel like we have everything we need.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

When I read this before, I assumed Proverbs 4:23 was talking about dating and relationships. As young women, we are always told to guard our hearts with the utmost care—all and only for Jesus, right? However, we need to guard our heart from fantasizing wedding dresses and creating an elaborate plan without a person in mind. We need to guard our heart from unrealistic expectations, dangerous desires, and maybe even Pinterest.