Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wikipedia Search: DIY

You know how in war movies the woman is worriedly baking cookies in a poorly lit room just wondering if Johnny will ever come home? It's right about then that a truck comes into the viewer's line of vision and it winds down a prairie road with wheat blowing everywhere until Johnny kicks down the door (Screw you, door!) and runs in. The tragic, well lipsticked young woman shrieks and throws her arms & legs around him as the music swells and the camera pans out and an American flag appears somewhere on screen. You know that... those movies, right?

I'm pretty sure that's how my boyfriend felt when I told him I was deleting the Pinterest app off my phone. (Please note that in true gender bending fashion, I am Johnny in this metaphor. HASHTAG FEMINISM. I've done my part for the day.)

Oh don't worry, I still manage to waste time. Despite getting Pinterest about two years ago, I never really felt drawn to it in the way I kept refreshing Tumblr or scrolled down repeatedly on Twitter. However, the odd eye catching photo of a chevron dresser or sock bun or  a girl's skirt and bright tights with her clutching a bag that strangely omits the top of her body (classic blogging! Don't look at the top of this post...) on Facebook can draw me into a downwards spiral of French braids and polka dots from which I will not emerge until my weak body whispers "You haven't eaten in five hours but you keep looking at cupcakes."

"Inspiration overload" certainly doesn't sound sinister, but up until the last month I had a folder of great do it yourself ideas but no 'done it myself's to be proud of. Part of this is cost prohibitive; I can replicate a 700$ trellis patterned dresser for 300$, but my ten buck gift card to the Dollar Store might stretch a little thin. Still; I certainly have enough painter's tape and plain glass jars to keep me crafting for years. So why haven't I?

An inspiration diet may seem like a death sentence to creative types like me, but after nixing half the blogs on my bloglovin I was forced to stare at an empty cue for three minutes straight before getting up, putting a pot of tea on for Luke, & plotting how I would paint my new white (thrifted) trench coat. Turns out, it just needed some grey fake piping. Since then, my shoes, cellphone case, spring jacket, vases, and walls all look a little better. 

There's an old saying that goes something along the lines of "20% inspiration, 80% perspiration." Although I question the scientific credibility of both those numbers and components (Hello! What about dexterity? Also, I thought I was the only one who sweat that much when thinking about doilies...), the sentiment is excellent. You can't wear what you pin. A folder of Scandinavian modernist showers does nothing for your 1970s pink and yellow tile bathroom. Viewing thousands of new workouts only works your finger muscles, and trust me, they are looking sharp. 

Of course, the Internet creeps into your life like a... Oh no, let's none of us pretend that anyone actually gave up the Internet. It is inevitable & grand. Apartment Therapy is still my homepage. I try to limit my "lovely seeking" to the bus, on which I can't do much else safe wiggle awkwardly to try not to touch the impolite person seated beside me. I'm just saying that we pages are permanent; that next blog on your cue can wait until tomorrow... except this one of course. 

I also take anger to the way that Pinterest is about snaps instead of people. Many have pointed out their rather sketchy terms of service, but with blogs people are able to express many aspects of themselves. I blog about dystopia and vintage wallets with the same passion, and this medium allows me to express that. Pinterest is so much based on visuals that I feel an element of the person actually doing the work is lost. There are endless pages of perceived perfection with  no substance. It's like taking Do the Right Thing and reducing it to gifs. I mean, it has been done (this is the Internet!), but I can't help feel as though voices and personality gets lost in the sea of  over-saturated snaps of manicures. 

I'm sure Luke will eventually tire of me painting stripes on everything that isn't bolted down (and maybe even our walls) and plead me to return to my folders of dream living rooms, or maybe we'll have the courage to you know, go for a walk or something. Still, I'm making a bold statement a la Charlie Angus about making tangible things with my tangible hands in this sometimes tangible life. I urge you to do the same. 

Besides, you can always take pictures after! & then pin them! I promise. 


Pomeline said...

For the past year I've only allowed myself to keep no more than 50 pictures in my inspiration folder. How can I be inspired by hundreds of pictures, over exposure! Great article :)

~ Faith said...

My sister-in-law and friends keep trying to get my onto Pinterest, but I've seen how addicted they've been with it and decided--preemptively--that I'll just avoid it altogether. I was enough time cruising artsy blogs looking for "inspiration" rather than actually sitting down and making something myself. Which reminds me... I need to get more print-making out there.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and refreshing post!
Internet can take so much time from us and we often don't even notice it.

Alexa said...

Good point. I need to start taking this advice to heart.

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

What wonderful perspective! I do try to limit the amount of "inspirational exposure" I get per day, but I think that in some ways, all the pretty I see every day has helped me edit and hone my personal style in real life. I also removed the board/pinners on Pinterest that made me miserable–and there were waaay too many.

Daisy said...

I can be glued to the internet all night. All in a bid for inspiration and motivation. Yes, I do get inspiration but then I don't have the time to put that inspiration into practice.

I deleted Facebook from my phone and am trying to use it much less apart from my blog page.

Elle Sees said...

Pinterest has been around two years? I've been on it a year, but yes, it can be overwhelming with all the projects and things I'll never eat, do, or make. Oddly enough, I rarely get inspiration from there.

Meagan :: Mo Pie, Please said...

Such good advice! It is overwhelming!

Jenny said...

these are such good comments. will take time to digest all the ideas, but interesting points nevertheless!

Rebecca Jane said...

As always, a thought-provoking post. I certainly agree that blogging is a better format to give a better expression of a whole person. Although I do love pinterest for cataloging ideas and inspiration, but I do really like what you're saying about living more in the tangible moment than solely in the inspirational.

Nikki said...

This is a great post! I feel like Pinterest is who you want to be...and we seem to be happy pinning these possibilites. It doesn't do a thing for us, you're so right. I think I should delete facebook first ;)

Heather said...

Haha, great opening paragraph.