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.


Mike & Deb said...

I wish I could help explain the "weaker" sex. I cannot. And if I forced myself to be truly objective, I would say that there are some things we men do that could not begin to appear logical to a being that is capable of thinking in the female way. There are times in my life where I think I have had a moment of being able to think like they do - only to relize soon after that I was not even close. We are not capable of female cognitive behavior. This has to be what draws us to them. Well, not the only thing, but something. After 55 years of studying this issue, I have only learned this; They are not like us. I am not certain that we need to understand them as much as we need to love them and to be loved by them. Only the Creator of life could do this. I have many questions for Him.

smolisar said...

: ) Interesting blog, Brian. I appreciate that you seem pleasantly perplexed instead of expressing the derogatory "women will just never make sense" version!