The Not-So-Perfect Perfect Pinterest Post

bible reading challenge day 49

This week in the Faith Hub: Where God and Technology Connect series, we’re taking a week just to look at Pinterest from a Christian viewpoint. Can I just tell you for starters that I LOVE Pinterest? It’s fun, quirky, and brilliant content-sharing at its finest in social media.

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Anyone currently active on social media knows that Pinterest has developed into an incredible phenomena. Idea sharing and photo sharing combined in the ultimate setting of graphic after graphic, interests and likes can be decided and shared in two clicks or less. There hasn’t been a day before now where the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is more true.

the not so perfect pinterest perfect post

Recently in several different settings, I received feedback from women that social media can cause negative mental thoughts for them.  Thoughts like “I’ll never be good enough” or “I wish my body, hair, etc. looked like that.” “I wish I could own a house, sofa, bathroom, like that.” This thought life can then develop into a pattern which is displayed through our attitudes.

In the Bible study I’m currently leading, Let.It.Go by Karen Ehman, Karen briefly mentions how Facebook can send us spiraling into a swirl of “I wish.”

I wish I could get as much accomplished in one day as she does.

How did they get their adoption to go through so quickly?

How does she “do it all?”

Karen says “We compare our reality to someone else’s appearance.

And she is so right!

If reading too many facebook statuses causes me to have a negative spirit, then I need to be careful not to read too many. Just the same as watching too much tv or eating too much food or any good thing that can become negative when in excess.

With Pinterest, the issue of comparing our reality to someone else’s appearance is even more evident. The photography is enhanced and the goal is perfection. Whether food or fashion or fitness or home design, the more ideal it seems, the more “pinnable.” Remember that I love Pinterest? Please remember that.  But there is a danger in allowing social media to affect our thoughts and lead them away from what God intends for our lives.

If we compare our reality to someone else’s appearance, then  we can feel jealous of their situation. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, after all.

If we compare our reality to someone else’s appearance, then we can feel inadequate to do the work God has given us to do.

If we compare our reality to someone else’s appearance, then we can feel incompetent in our God-called roles.

Phil. 4:8 says:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Can I just tell you that there are a ton of things on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter,and other social media that fall under the categories listed above?   And that is why I love it! But we do need to make sure that those things are the ones we are seeking.  Even then,  another danger is that we just might be forming the wrong thought pattern about these wonderful, true things, thereby transforming them into sin.

Instead of playing the comparing game on Pinterest,what if we stick to the guideline of God’s Word? Let’s seek recipes, means of hospitality, and all sorts of ideas and content to embrace Pinterest, yet be sure that we do so without envy and with our identity firmly planted in Christ.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, -Phil. 2:4&5

Has Pinterest or other social media ever made you feel inadequate or envious? I would love to read your thoughts about this topic!

Bloggers, thanks for linking up this week!

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29 Comments

  1. For starters I want to say that this post made my day! I actually just found your website as a link from Pinterest! Since day one I have been very particular about what I pin, I use it for inspiration only and have done well thus far to not lust for things I see. My problem with Pinterest has been that I experience occasional anxiety over what feels like such a huge to do list. I have so many recipes and not enough ingredients. So many things I want to do with my daughter, but I need to go get this this and the other thing at the store. I need to hurry up and learn to sew. Another blog I have to keep up with… the list goes on and on. I have really had to slow myself down so as not to let it become an idol to me. Thanks for your post. I am so glad I am not the only one who feels overwhelmed with technology.

  2. Melanie Pike says:

    I love Pinterest,too, but I try not to pin things that make me envious or silently cry out “I wish!!!” My thought when I joined was to find new recipes, new ideas for organizing, and pictures or quotes to help with my writing. I’ve done all that, along with finding some new ideas for other things (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, taking better care of myself–which I desperately need). I try to avoid things that won’t ever work for me (the perfect hair, the “perfect” body). Somehow I do manage to be realistic–for the most part–on Pinterest, which, for me, is amazing in and of itself! But I’ve also been able to share pins on there that might be helpful to friends and family. My daughter started wish lists on there for herself and her daughter (which helped greatly at Christmastime), and I’ve done the same for myself. There are always good aspects and bad aspects to social media, so thank you for posting this. 🙂

  3. I found your post on Pinterest, which I guess shows it can be used for good! I just posted about my Fb fast done for many of the reasons you give (and also including Phil 4.8) so I’ve linked up. I find it easier to be discerning on Pinterest as I don’t feel the need to follow co-workers and relations in the same way. And like some of the previous comments I just tend to follow Christian pinners. I think I blundered into Fb, accepting anyone as a ‘friend’, not to mention the temptation of ‘games’… but have been more intentional with Pinterest.

  4. Like this perspective! However while I wish for some of the things on Pinterest it has actually been a greater help for me to utilize the things I have and I especially love all the recipes I find. I normally go to the blog where the recipe is and if I don’t have all or most of the ingredients on hand I seldom pin it to my board cause it isn’t saving me anything if I have to go buy abunch of ingredients for something I don’t even know if we’ll like.
    I like all the DIY things as well! If I have a tutorial on something I can usually make it but my imagination isn’t as big as some so it helps me make use of the things I have 🙂

  5. I was surprised about your comments on social media. Never once have I gone on Pinterest to look at something that would make me feel bad about myself or envious that I don’t live in a better house or drive a special car. I for one am very happy where and how I live my life. I’ve been at the top and at the very bottom, several times, but that’s what defines who I am. I have grown each and evert time and grown in mt relationship with God. Each and every day is a gift and I while I love to look at things that are beautiful or things I’ve never seen before or amaze me, envy is not anything that I waste my time on. Everything and anything can make you feel bad about yourself it you let it or dwell on it. I just chose not to live life that way. Nobody has to go on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or whatever. If you tend to be negative, you can find that any place and with anybody. These sites are for entertainment and if they don’t do that for you then you are free not to use them. Besides, you can’t believer everything you see or read. You take it with a grain of salt. Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy your site. Just give most of us more credit to see them for what each individual site is.

    1. Love this, Carol. I’m so thrilled to hear that this issue hasn’t even crossed your mind because it is not an issue for you! Your statements are very true- this article came about as a response to feedback I received. You can imagine I receive alll kinds of feedback on social media. 🙂 Thank you so much for honest comment.

  6. Thanks for such a timely and thought-provoking post, Rachel. I’ve struggled with the same struggles others are mentioning and have come up with a little acronym to help: MODEL. I want to keep my Pinterest use: moderate, others-focused, delightful, efficient and level. I’m planning a little blog series for each letter in the acronym, too, and just linked up to you. Looking forward to hashing these thoughts out more through writing! Thanks again! — Kiki

    1. That’s awesome, Kiki! I’ll look forward to reading more from you. Thanks for linking up!

  7. I find that some poeple that you follow have a very materialistic bent and if I “follow” those people on pinterest then I tend to follow them in attitude also. I have learned to unfollow those people and use it as an idea board to help me do more with what I already have, or do what I need to do more efficiently and economically. I find wonderful reciepes which allow me to vary my cooking for my family. I also find a wealth of encouragement both to do right and to keep fighting the good fight. All in all pinterest is a very useful tool for me. But we all need to remember that we are each of great value in the eyes of God, or he would not have sent His Son to die for us.

  8. Rachel! You did speak to my heart today :0).
    AH! Pinterest…how I LOVE you….and DESPISE you at the same time! I pin and pin all the wonderful ideas that will either give me an AMAZING house or leave me flat broke with a collection of unused supplies! I admit, I grow impatient with the progress of my house that seems to have stalled. I drool over perfectly draped coverlets and hand crafted, personalized picture frames! I pretty much MAKE myself avoid visiting on my laptop…only through my itouch! It seems to keep me a little accountable anyway!
    Facebook…not so much. I am a visual person so it is clear to me why Pinterest can be my enemy…or maybe a “frienimy”???

    1. Oh Donna! how we ALL have our little niches that stretch our purses and thoughts farther than they should be. 🙂 Thanks for your straightforward honesty today!

  9. Nancy Miller says:

    Rachel, I haven’t thought about using fb and Pinterest in this way but its definitely happened to me. I think it happens subconsciously for me. And, sometimes those posts about what a friend has accomplished in a day is an encouragement to keep chugging along on my list. Maybe more times than I realize, I think about myself in a negative way.
    Thank you for this blog post bc I’m going to be more aware of those negative thoughts creeping in and fight. Blessings to you and your family!

  10. Melissa Yeats says:

    Yes! I am taking a nice break from social media and it feels great! These things are awesome resources, but when my thoughts were more about Pinterest than God, I knew I needed a break. Great post 🙂

  11. Oh my yes, Rachel! Twitter seems to be my downfall. I tend to compare myself to other writers with mega-followers. Great post!

    1. Thanks Friend. And God is doing special work with your writing! Work that He can do only through you!

  12. I LOVE Pinterest but, in all honesty it has had that effect on my lately. Always has me wanting and wishing for more. Wish my hair, make-up & nails were like hers. Wish I could clean, cook, decorate or organize like her. Wish I had a bigger/better house. It has made me overlook what Blessings I DO have. Now, I have been looking at only recipes, you blog & boards, Darlene’s blog & board and a few other things. I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more on this as a reminder that we ARE enough, we HAVE enough and we DO enough. And to stop and think about and be thnakful for what we DO have. I am very thankful for what I have but sometimes I do get caught up in wishing. Thank you for this post! 🙂

    1. Bless you Girl. Thanks for your honesty. Know that there are plenty of others who feel the same as you!

  13. Brittini Austin says:

    Here comes my honesty! I LOVE Pinterest but lately I have found myself wanting and wishing more. And feeling very inadequate. Why cant I do my hair or make-up like her? Why cant I clean, decorate or Organize like her? It’s made me over look what I DO have. I have cleaned up my fb and try to only look at recipes, your blog, Darlenes and inspiring blogs. I’d LOVE to see more about this. So, we all know that we ARE eough,

  14. This post makes me smile because when Pinterest first came out, my daughter was so excited. But within one month, she no longer wanted to use it. She said it caused her to want material things. Every cute outfit, every piece of jewelry, the furniture and accessories she longed to have. She said she found herself wanting more and more and feeling bad about herself and all she did not have…even though she knew she had a lot. Thank you for sharing this timely and spot on message.

    Blessings,

    Wendy

    1. What a great fact that your daughter caught on to the spiral quickly. Thanks for your comment, Wendy!

  15. I love this perspective Rachel. So balanced. I try hard to be as real as I can on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because I want people to feel like I am normal, that they are normal. That the fancy little Pinterest worthy tea party and the thrown together pizza get together with paper plates is the same. Besides, I realized a long time ago that while I appreciate and aspire to Pinterest greatness, there’s not enough time in my days or money in my bank account to be that “great” all the time. So I do what I can while remaining true to myself and grateful for what I have been given to steward. Great post! Thanks!

    1. Maybe I should take photos of my junk drawer in the kitchen, the fingerprints on the sliding glass door, and a few other little hidden corners of the house? 🙂 Thanks Jessica!! I love your words here too.

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