Friday, December 09, 2011

Pinterest and Other Conflicts of Interest

I'd love to join, and almost did last year, because I knew I would love it. But I also know that if I did, I wouldn't have time to do the other things I love: sewing, baking, knitting, connecting with my "real-life" friends, reading books aloud with my husband. 

Not to mention the usual: cooking all of our predominantly vegetarian meals from scratch, keeping our living space reasonably clean [not an easy task when we actually live in it - we're home schoolers, so we sit around at home all day - cue weak laugh from one tired mama!], spending time with our friends and neighbours on a daily basis, laundry for a family of six minus the convenience of a clothes dryer, dishes for the constant eating that goes on around here without the benefit of a dishwasher, being able to spend individual time with each of my four children daily.  I could go on, but I don't want to sound as if I'm complaining, because I'm not.  I'm just indulging in some realism.

I suppose I could hire someone else to run my Pinterest for me!  And my Facebook.  Then I would be able to juggle all these social profiles that are so visibly important in our day and age.  Or I could buy a new phone. My outdated Nokia doesn't connect me to every social networking site out there so I can't be at the beck and call of everyone I've ever connected with on the planet all day long.  However, even with the benefit of a personal assistant and a new phone, I still don't think I could do it.  Motivation to promote mySelf so brilliantly must be lacking.

Blogging seems to be my way of best expressing myself via a social network. Through sharing the bits and pieces that make up our day, I'm hoping that it's encouraging people who read it to indulge their own creative side in their everyday lives.  

Not in a competitive way. Social networking is our twenty-first century equivalent of the 1950's "keeping up with the Joneses".  Except nowadays, not only does our external, "real" life have to match up to everyone else's, so does our virtual, online life.  It's ridiculous, folks! Seriously. Martha Stewart went to jail.  Let's stop trying so hard to be her. It's just too exhausting, and the bar is always set too high.  

My blog is for my family, for my kids.  I want them to read this and look back at what we did, what our life was like, and remember.

It's for me, to express who I am and what I enjoy in a manageable, non-competitive way.  Just because I don't tell you about it doesn't mean we didn't do it!  Some things I keep to myself. 

Sometimes I'm saddened by all the constant connection that goes on between all of us.  Don't get me wrong; I love elements of Facebook. I like being able to keep up with faraway friends and family so easily.  Other aspects of it are not so great; it irks me when I can't have a conversation with a friend without seeing them refer to their phone every two minutes to check their Facebook updates.  What's happened to our concentration levels, to our ability to focus on one subject and that person right in front of us and just be present in that situation?  

I want to be a "present" person.  If I'm not being present for my friends, my family, my husband, or myself, I start to lose it!  Am I the only person on the planet like this?  Yet why is "being present" such an obsession these days?  Because it's necessary to focus on the now to maintain our own mental well-being!  Thinking too much about the future can cause worry to creep in, and thinking too much about the past can draw us into depression and a fruitless desire to change our past actions.  And thinking too much about what "everyone else" is doing will only end in dissatisfaction with our own life in comparison to theirs.

I hope you've caught the humour in this post.  I was laughing when I started to write it, laughing at the thought of myself trying to keep up all day online, with a new phone that maintained my constant connection to my online network.  Then it wasn't funny anymore because I thought of all the jobs piling up and the creative ideas put on hold and the relationships slowly reduced to soundbites and shallow conversations.

This is not a rant.  It's a conversation.  I'd like to hear your thoughts!


  1. Did you just read the article my brother-in-law posted on FB? B/c I read it right before reading your blog and it was all about the psychological downside of FB. I'm sitting here thinking, "Is this my two witnesses Lord? No, You don't need to say it again. I will cut back...somehow..." I'm going to go back to FB and share the article. And do my best not to check my newsfeed.

  2. How funny Erin, I just joined facebook after resisting for ages only so I can use pinterest as I lose the links for crafty things I think the girls will like! Hey, I could be chatting with you on the phone instead of commenting couldn't I? I'm not sure I will find time to use pinterest and may well come back off facebook, we'll see! I get where you are from though with being too connected, but when we are so busy with our families, at least we can catch up at the end of a day and not end up feeling isolated from others we would like to connect with and haven't seen! Sometimes the support of connecting on-line is nice when I've turned the phone off and hidden all day!
    hugs, Jen x

  3. No, Kristy, I didn't read it! I will look for it, though. Ironically, I used Facebook to link to this blog post.

    Jenn, it's nice to hear what you have to say! To be honest, I enjoy blogging for online connection. Especially for us stay-at-home mums, it's a great way to stay sane.

    I really think social networking is an equal toss-up between good and bad. It's abuse of it, through our own [my own] lack of self-control that makes it negative.

  4. Brilliant...I was just saying to 'you know who' how on earth do people find time to do all the things they do online, if not at the expense of real life relationships. Modern day on! I think I only got to Day 6 on our Advent activities and we forgot to eat the candy!
    By the way, if you ever needed a PA in real life I'd love to be it!!!

    Ps. How on earth do you dry everything in winter?? Argh I'm remembering. My least favourite thing.. turning over laundry on the radiator?

    PPS. I just had the thought about it being 'free', it doesn't cost money to FB or blog (unless you live in Canada),is it an option instead of 'going out', spending money on an activity - although, walking, swiming, playing tennis are all possibly better for your health!! She writes,contemplating going outside into the cold.

  5. ALWW, you can be my PA long distance?! :)
    Answer to drying question: airing racks near the radiators, and lots of patience.
    And yes, social networking is definitely free entertainment!

  6. I have to say, as another mother of 4, with a full time job.. I totally agree with everything you said! I love my blog, that I don't keep up on the greatest, and my facebook.. but I love the present connection too. There is never enough time in a day to begin with, and we as a society, often lose out on so many things these days. It makes me miss being a kid. Remember those days of make believe and having all the time and energy in the world for crafts of all sorts. Nothing was more important than what we were imagining and creating with our closest friends!

  7. I was just remembering today some of those beautiful elements of being a kid: the simplicity, freedom, and endless creativity. Wish I knew how to recreate that as an adult. :)


Please don't hesitate to comment if this post has provoked your thoughts! I enjoy reading what you have to say.