Rocket Shoes

I am a bit of a social media whore.

For the most part, I think anyone reading this is (how the hell else did you get here?). But I think sometimes, I am to a fault. I check Facebook incessantly for no reason. I tweet when it's unnecessary. I think in "that'd be a great Instagram shot" thoughts.

Hell, man. Just to blow time, I check Path. I'd imagine this is what becoming a drug addict or a rampant gambler feels like.

Then a funny thing happened.

Pinterest showed up. And I didn't get it.

Unless you live in a dark cave, you've heard of it. I don't know, at this point people in dark caves have probably heard of it. If you have a girlfriend, it's probably helped you understand why women hate fantasy football. Whenever I'm not looking, it's like she's just checking the waiver wire, checking to see if any new pins are available for repin. And here's the thing that really sucks...

I'm bad at it.

How can you be bad at a social network, you ask? I'll explain.

Pinterest is really simple: It's a digital pinboard that you post pretty pictures on. Do you like that outfit that one chick wore to that thing? BOOM. Pin it. Do you like that picture of food? BOOM. Pin it. Do you like that "anything that can be photographed"? BOOM. Pin that shit. Honestly: it's a really simple way to tell people what you like, and I get that.

But when I started trying to do it, I realized I was too late. More than that, I just wasn't good at it. It was the same reason people told me they couldn't relate to Twitter the way I could: they just had nothing to say. And that's the thing: I've got PLENTY to say but not that much to show you. So, essentially, I'm fucked. I'm a person who thinks in words. I lose Pictionary every time I play it but I am a certified sniper when it comes to Catch Phrase.

When I go on Pinterest, I feel like people are speaking Chinese while playing Mouse Trap and patting their head, all at once. I simply cannot keep up with the rate that things are shared. It's not only that, though.

I am just not the demographic.

I'm not saying men can't pin. Look, plenty of them are good at it. I'm just not one of them.

I tried to solve this. Could I emulate other people's boards? Could I simply yoink titles that other people had for their boards and use them as my own? It was that exact moment that I realized just how out of my league I was.

However, I did notice some patterns. On that note.

This is my interpretation of how to use Pinterest.

Make a board about DIY crafting. 

It's funny, no one seemed to be into crafting before Pinterest existed. You never heard people saying in passing, "hey, I tell you about that lamp shade I made out of sequins and old rubber tires?" Now? If i'm to believe my friend's Pinterest boards, everyone spends a majority of their life creating random terrariums or hats that make you look like an owl. This brings up a larger theme that Pinterest has essentially made people more interesting even if they're just lazily throwing pictures up on a board as a new way of hitting the "like" button. And, i'll take it. Why not. I'd rather you be into crafting than the Real Housewives of anything.

Talk about the wedding you're going to have before a man (or woman) has asked to marry you.

Seriously, it doesn't matter: Pinterest allows people to be passive aggressive as shit. Angry he hasn't popped the question yet? Drop a hint and just start posting what the floral arrangements are and what the rose petals will look like on the alter of the venue you've already selected (or all 1,894 of them on another board, entirely optional). While it would be creepy for a girl to do this in her bedroom, with or without a boyfriend, it is in no way creepy on Pinterest. Utterly fascinating to me.

While you're at it, pin what your home is going to look like someday. 

For the most part, we all live in some unbelievably boring place. It probably has some chairs, a bed and some other furniture we can presumably afford (re: shitty furniture) and maybe, just maybe, it's got some trinkets and doodads that make it "so us." Go online, find pictures of rich people's houses and post pictures on a board about what your home is going to look like when you grow up. Maybe a room with a nice lamp. Definitely a crazy nice kitchen with the crap you can't afford at Williams Sonoma. Boom. You did it.

Talk about an eating disorder you may or may not have in way that is juuuust masked enough. 

This goes for both sexes. Sure, no one really wants to hear about if you think you're fat or what weight you're gaining or losing through Facebook or Twitter updates. Those are just words and they sound like someone bitching that you don't want to have drinks with. That sucks, because you know what we all love? Attention (points finger at self as he writes this in the hopes that you will read it). But hey, guess what? Pinterest made it work! Instead, post a picture of good looking people or pictures of food you "can't eat" and now it's just a pretty picture that sorta doesn't have anything to do with you in particular. It's just close enough to sounding like self-improvement, too, so most people are into it.

Pin any well designed picture of a quote that is vague. 

HUGE bonus points if it's a variation of "Keep Calm and Carry On." That shit is so gonna get repined, just wait for the followers to get on your Pin-wagon. While your'e at it..

Find any infographic about anything. 

It honestly doesn't matter. It could be about the ratio of pistachios that get left behind because their shell has that awkward opening that's just not open enough so you can't eat it to pistachios that you can definitely eat. Seriously. It doesn't matter. If it's an infographic? Pin that shit. If you're a brand trying to get into Pinterest in a way that fans will relate to? This is your easiest way to offer kids candy in the back of a Pinterest van. Do it.

Pin pictures of babies doing things. 

It's just vague enough that it doesn't say "I WANT A BABY". It's saying, "hey, don't blame me, I'm just looking at adorable babies doing some adorable shit, what's wrong with that?" Babies are the cats of Pinterest. They're pretty much an easy go-to.

Pin pictures of tiny animals.

No matter what. Don't think, just pin that shit. Baby giraffe? Boom. Monkey riding a pig? Boom.

Pin any picture of food. 

Food was the one thing that got a little left behind when Twitter started. Explaining food isn't as cool as seeing food. Guess what? If you joined Pinterest, you just went from making Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to cooking some kind of dumpling you've never heard of with ingredients you can only buy in places that don't exist. And you're putting bacon on everything. Pinterest made everyone a foodie.

Finally, when all else fails…

Just repin anything someone else pins with a lot of followers. It's just like any other social network, guys. We're all just yelling the same thing at each other.

It's not that I don't like Pinterest. I actually really do. I just feel like I'm not good at that, and like a kid throwing things on the playground, i'm bummed out. It's just like Twitter for me for a different breed of person: I've seen people become legitimate friends in real life because they liked someone's boards. It blows my mind.

If statistics are correct, it's gonna outgrow Facebook, Twitter, Twitface, Facer, Facertweet…it's gonna be the next big thing. Hell, it's already been the next big thing for longer than you think. And this is why.

Ever watched girls on a couch while guys watch football? They often look at fashion magazines/anything and just show other girls what they're looking at and say, "that's cute."

That's Pinterest.

Forget the "like" button.

Just make the "that's cute" button already.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 59: Pin This Sh*t.

Stream the whole thing right here.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

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32 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Pinterest, Explained by Someone Who Doesn’t Get It”

  • Rae

    March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I’m a person who thinks in words too, which is why I didn’t even bother with giving Pinterest a try when I first heard of it. It just went straight into my ‘Too Hard’ basket, along with the rest of the #marchphotoaday thing on Instagram.

  • Darren Bagnall

    March 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I’m glad someone outed Pinterest. I had a similar experience and I am actually a visual thinker. I get Pinterest but I just couldn’t relate to 95% of the content. Maybe that will change as the demographic changes. One possible good use I am watching is visual designers using it for a portfolio and/or for job searching. As a creative recruiter, I am keeping an eye on that.

    Thanks Drew!

  • Paula

    March 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This is hilarious. I’m female and I totally don’t get the Pinterest thing. I admit I tried it, but I found it to be an endless circle of people liking old vintage crap and things they can’t afford. Enough is enough.

  • daisy

    March 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    “Ever watched girls on a couch while guys watch football? They often look at fashion magazines/anything and just show other girls what they’re looking at and say, “that’s cute.”

    Just. YES. Yes yes yes yes yes.

  • Cmey

    March 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    thank you for this! I don’t get it either! I thought re-posting “keep calm and listen to drake” photos was what tumblr was for…

  • dispinterested

    March 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    i don’t get it either.

    and based on peoples twitters about it, i don’t need too.

    one can only have so many obsessive behaviors.

  • Rick Clark

    March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks. I thought it was just me who didn’t get it. I still don’t exactly understand how to get more followers on Pinterest. Help! Rick C. @rcl4rk

  • roboGold

    March 23, 2012 at 6:44 am

    ‘pin that shit.’

  • sally

    March 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

    ha! i just posted about pinterest yesterday! i didn’t really get the point of it or thrill out of it for a while either…until i saw a bag i’d never seen before that i totally swooned for. i think as a primary use it’s a good place to keep things you find on the internet that you like and share them with your friends, better than a folder on your desktop. however, if you’re going on it simply to “hang out”, it can definitely get overwhelming and there’s a lot of crap and smoke and mirrors and can leave you feeling like you’re not doing all the cool stuff at once like everyone else. so yeah, maybe my pinterest interest will fade as quickly as it came. i enjoyed your breakdown though, very nice. also – thanks for the awesome music mixes – they’re the best!

  • Trisha Trixie

    March 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Drew. Dude you always put a smile to my face. I love Pinterest! It is my Sunday PAper kinda thing.

    I use it for my blogs and for my business.

    MY favorites are I heart…and Fashionista Favs.
    I use I hear for I heart Hump DAy and repost the things I like on Pinterest.
    http://poetryheart.blogspot.com

    Then on Fridays I resuse my Pinterest Fashion likes for Fashion Friday for my Fashion Blog
    http://sensafashion.blogspot.com/

    Come check out my Pins and see the boards I create.
    Yes I do have boards for my own Social Media business AND for m MY Artwork.

    But think of it this way. If you had a bunch of corkboards on your walls what would you pin up there? IF you could name them, what would you call them? Just share what you like and make your own boards.

    Like in one of your posts you said how much you like Shoes. Make a Rocket Shoes Imelda Board or something and then enter Shoes in the search on Pinterest. REpin all the shoes you like. Also if you want to retype a Description you can, but I always cheat and just put a PERIOD and that gets me by.
    Check me out dude!
    http://pinterest.com/trishatrixie/

  • Shalini

    March 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I’m quite the girly girl-hate sports, love fashion, but I relate to you on this one. I joined Pinterest maybe over 6 months ago out of boredom and curiosity, spent some of that day on the site, and never returned. I ended up here because I noticed another resurgence in their membership and just felt like I’m the only one that finds it incredibly boring and pointless, haha. It’s just a bunch of self-centered collaging! I had been wondering if I was missing something, but I see that I’m not after reading this, so thanks. I guess I just don’t get it, or I overly get it, haha.

  • Ashlee

    March 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I felt like i was talking to myself through this pinterest rant…i feel like its just a bunch of boring people google searching shit all day to pin…i tried it and it just felt wrong…Im a girly girl but i dont get satisfaction posting ideas or pictures of things i had no part in besides taking one second to “pin it” and have everyone oooh and ahhh over it…I’d rather ACTUALLY cook something and pin THAT shit. Well said Drew! You had me laughing out loud the whole time!

  • Mel Ann Morales

    March 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Okay – I will admit… I get Pinterest. I don’t do it often because it will suck the time and life right out of me. However I am both visual and highly organizational in my thinking – so it works way better for me than say… my browser bookmark system. However, I am completely baffled by one thing… My most popular pin that is repinned and commented on the most of 3634 pins? A picture of Pitbull. And to clarify because so many of my fB friends were looking for a picture of a dog when I mentioned this in a status update… (I rarely repin pictures of animals btw)… Pitbull the hip hop mega star! I have pinned some beautiful artwork, quotes, geeky stuff like gadgetry and Big Bang Theory/Star Wars/Star Trek humor, fabulous foods, make it myself solutions to save money – Pins that deepen social awareness, thinking and self-discovery… And my most popular is from my superficial, non-thinking required Eye Candy board? I network quite effectively with most social media networks (haven’t heard of Path though – gonna check that one out), generate new connections, exchanges of ideas and so on … Without getting Twitter at all. I prefer pictures (not links to them) over words so that may be why. So – even without Pinterest, I wouldn’t judge you down any scores because you don’t get it. I don’t get Fantasy Football at all… So… are we even? Enjoyed your post!

  • tightsandtea

    April 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Pinterest attracts a surprising amount of older people too, probably because it’s so user-friendly. I see a lot of grandmas and their kitschy-crafty crochet DIY’s, repinned by people 1/4th their age–brings everyone together lol. Some people actually use it to post pictures of themselves like fb, which sort of boggles my mind.

    Though I have to say, you don’t have to relate to the rest of the content in ANY way to benefit from Pinterest, so talking about the random things people pin is a moot point. First and foremost, it’s simply a fast, efficient way to store and organize links/pics/videos–so in that sense, it’s not really a form of ‘social media’. Everyone can benefit from it without having to sift through “Hey Girl” Ryan Gosling memes :)

    Maybe you don’t “get” how Pinterest turned into a craft/wedding hotspot, but the idea behind Pinterest is so brilliant and simple, I don’t know why it wasn’t done years ago.

  • Bil Simser

    April 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Pinned! Oh wait…

  • Rob Woods

    April 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    You missed: pin pictures of sexy shoes, fancy nail polish, and hairstyles. It doesn’t even matter if you are a guy and don’t care about these things because the vastly female audience of Pinterest does. Do this and you will get followers and repins, and maybe someday, you’ll be able to do something with those.

  • Linda

    April 7, 2012 at 12:42 am

    I do not get Pinterest at all and I’m a heterosexual middle-aged female. As far as I can tell it’s nothing more than an electronic scrapbooking party. Spending 10 minutes on the site is like attending a dozen baby showers simultaneously. 30 minutes and I would want to go out and spit, scratch my junk, and get in a fistfight to counter all the estrogen overload. I worked for a startup in 2000 that utilized essentially the same technology so I’m not very impressed with that either.

  • @licorous

    April 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Love this. So. well. put!

  • casacaudill

    April 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I admit it – I pin a lot. Mostly pictures of places I want to visit (or have visited), recipes, and ideas for decorating my house. And yes, I do actually do something with them. There is a whole group of bloggers out there that do Pinterest challenges – basically, stop pinning ideas and create these ideas. All this said, there is some weird ass stuff being pinned on there. Every time I visit I have to unfollow someone because suddenly they’ve gone off the rails and posted pictures of dragons or worse, workout quotes.

  • supertamsf

    April 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    You know the girls in junior high that made friendship collages? Well I wasn’t one of them. Which may explain why I also don’t get Pinterest. Loves me the Twitter but not the P-boards.

  • Amy

    April 16, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I’m the total opposite I don’t ‘get’ tweeting and facebook (though I do Facebook I am always really confused as to who sees what I’m posting/sharing and am still amused how anyone can be interested in a photo of my cat). When Pinterest rocked up I instantly ‘got it’ and am in my element and I don’t pin any of your suggestions! I am very visual. Recently a few people have used my board names and then pinned every single pin one after the other that I have in my board into their own without even saying thanks ha ha- so….raided…urgm sorry flattered!

    But if something doesn’t speak to you you can just not sign up right?

  • Aly

    May 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    fucking
    hilarious.
    gimme a Like button. i wanna Like this shit.

  • Erin

    June 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Shit. I have pinned everything you just described.

  • Christa

    June 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    This is golden. I’m still laughing uproariously over your witty sarcasm, and it warmed my own sarcastic, mostly-witty (mostly-humble?) heart. Your article needs to be read by everyone. In fact, I want to pin it: pin this non-shit!

    I can admit that I have a closeted Pinterest problem, and yet, alas, what beleaguers me about it is the “community.” I, too, come from a blogging background since way-back-when (although said blog is long-dead right now, as I am no longer in college and currently enjoy/suffer from a 60 hour work week; woe betide the busy post-collegiate bloggers of the world … who still use the term “blogger,” no less), and so I find myself with a craving to not only pin self-indulgent and/or humorous images, BUT ALSO to write pithy phrases in their descriptions, which I do. It’s just as you mentioned, see: I cannot avoid a verbally-induced background of pith. Yet no one else attempts the images-with-accompanying-verbal-pith style on Pinterest with any frequency, or at least, not that I have seen. Instead, Pinterest image descriptions are all too dry, boring, or NOT EVEN INCLUDED AT ALL for words. What a waste of a description box.

    In short, I need to quit. Why can’t I quit you, Pinterest? Is it because your interface is so horribly simple? Is it because I used to save pithy images to my own hard drive and no longer have to do so? Is it because I just haven’t stepped into the vast Tumblr sea of relatively similar style? I know not. I’m stuck with you for now, Pinterest, but at least this guy on this blog totally gets what’s wrong with you.

  • Meg

    August 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I found you by googling “I don’t get pinterest”. Thanks. Someone who suggested Pinterest to me for my business. Hypnotism is not visual. So if I’m going to explore this, I’m going to have to think out of the box. This will take time that I may not want to spend. Thanks again.

  • Flynne

    August 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

    After 1200 pins. I deleted my account. Pinterest is fucking boring. There is so much more out there.Like living.

  • Flynne

    August 14, 2012 at 5:00 am

    After 1200 pins. I deleted my account. Pinterest is fucking boring. There is so much more out there.Like living life.

  • Anne

    February 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    After being inundated by my sister pinning item after item and telling me about all of the items and regaling me with tales of others items she wants to pin, I finally had enough. I told her that until she actually bakes, makes, buys, invests in, crafts, sews or cooks at least 3 things on her board I didn’t want to hear anymore about it. I have not heard a peep about it for 2 months

  • Debbie

    August 5, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Hilarious!!! I try to explain Pinterest to my husband…he had your reaction! Direct quote “you just pin crap you may or may not do so other people see it??”

  • Erin McNaughton

    August 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

    This made me laugh out loud. I fall into the demographic target (female, 24) and I cannot for the life of me get into Pinterest. I’m a word-nerd and I’m not interested in food I can’t afford and planning the wedding I’m not sure I’ll ever have. Why should I spend hours looking at pictures of skinny girls kissing model-esque and babies in meadows just before the ants bring their fury? It seems to silly to collect other people’s art when we could spend that time creating our own.

    Thank you for this–it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my Pin-loathing, and we can sit back and wait as the bandwagon rolls away (on an antique horse-drawn carriage with mason jar lights, of course).

  • Wedding Video Company (that's bad at pinterest)

    February 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Having been told that I needed to set up a pinterest account because “brides love it”, I did… then I left it alone.
    Having read your blog I’ve learned that I need to get my girlfriend to operate my account.
    Thank you

  • Nicole

    July 4, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Pissing my pants over this. An artist friend told me to “look on Pinterest” to get ideas for painting the exterior of our home. Um yeah……wtf? So annoyed by the whole thing but maybe it’s because I’m 46 and just don’t give a shit anymore. Anyway…thanks for the hilarity…

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