Sunday, February 19, 2012

Overthinking Pinterest

Okay, I get it. Pinterest is really not a guys’ thing. And I’m okay with that. I also acknowledge that I find myself checking to see what’s new about every month or so. And I find it entertaining.

Looking on Pinterest is kind of like staring into the not-so-secret world of women. Not like in an I’m-going-to-spy-on-sorrority-sisters-in-their-unmentionables, but a more public kind of secret world. What I find is not entirely surprising: Women have conflicting messages.

I’ve often assumed this was just a facet of my personal life reflecting my inability to properly interact with the finer sex. However, the patterns I see on Pinterest confirm my notions that females are confusing.

For those unfamiliar with the workings of pinterest, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to get. From my limited interations it works as follows: people post stuff they like. The result is a page of rectangular pictures consisting largely of the following categories: (1) Inspirational quotes regarding weight (2) Pictures of food meant to sabatoge #1 (3) Pictures of guys with their shirts off and airbrushed twelve-pack abdomens(4) Ryan Gosling. See #3(5) Hair in strange formations (6) Things pertaining to wedding ideas (7) Cute animals (8) Crafts (9) Babies (10) Flowers (11) Showers/pools (12) Pictures with text in the vein of a snarky comic

Personally, I think my main reason for checking on the page is number 12. However, the contrasts between items #1 and #2 is always unnerving. Especially given the borderline anorexial nature of some of the “inspirational quotes.” Also in the umbrella of #1 are not-as-thought-out ideas for weight loss including drink ice cold water 99 times a day and do 10,000 jumping jacks daily. Obviously, I’m a man who understands both the delights of aesthetically pleasing deserts and recently discovered the need for working out to get fit. However, I do find the juxtaposition of the “snickers brownie” next to the “Shrink your waist” exercise plan a bit counterproductive. However, when the exercise plan begins to involve excessive caloric restriction and exercise, the page carries bulimic overtones.

Generally, I think a few deranged people usually post the anorexic plans and most people, like me, have a fine appreciation for both (however, the boost your buttox workout is not for me). I do take delight in the new medium of “make-your-own” brand comics. Raging through facebook right now is the (insert career here) and insert pictures of what five different individuals/groups think about what you do and end with the fact that you actually are literally surrounded by a mound of paper every day. The first few were enjoyable, the rest are becoming trite and most are an excessive stretch.

Yet, I digress, the point is pinterest has a lot of these type of graphics. Particularly pervasive are the pictures of Victorian era women saying something snarky about society, each other, or their alcohol consumption. I find these comical. The next type of comic is an extension of the LOLer cat and faux motivational posters of years gone by. Really, these are why I log on occasionally.

Not to overanalyze things (but what’s the point of this post anyways) but these “comics” generally seem predicated on a two part process. Number one: The picture establishes a point of familiarity and context with a picture of something/one recognizable (i.e. a sitcom character). The comment above their head is some sort of lead in to the punch-line, which is written in small letters bellow the top. So, in essence, step two is reading the punchline. It’s a remarkably dichotomized process to simulate the anticipation of telling a live joke. Let’s just say, pinterest users, I’m impressed with the creation of a new joke telling medium, if the content is quite occasionally lacking. The other similar joke is the picture of iPhone text conversations which proves likewise enjoyable.

Well, I suppose all I really wanted to do was justify my perusal of pinterest. However, I find myself enjoying it as a minor sociological experience into what women (en masse) find pinteresting (I know, I cringed too). Especially since I can’t seem to figure them out as individuals.