Category Archives: #IP1 #tv074

How I Live Online

Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I go on it way too much. I just love “pinning.” Pinterest, if you think about it, is a magical place. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, on Pinterest you only receive the content that you asked for. Other than a random ad here and there, all of the pins that show up on my timeline were put there because I told the bots that’s what I like, that’s what interests me. On Facebook someone likes a post by your ex, his last selfie shows up on your newsfeed. Yuck. On Twitter, people can retweet and share whatever they want and you have absolute no control over it short than unfollowing the person. But Pinterest will never show me a pin about Dr. Who because I didn’t ask for it. Pinterest is like a very obedient boyfriend who only exists to please me.

Another reason I love Pinterest is because everything in there is beautiful, shiny, skinny and put together. It’s full-blown utopia, of course, because the real world is nothing like that. But you know what? For the real world I read the news; for fooling myself that everything is perfect I go to Pinterest. The laws of science just don’t apply there, and I can get lost for hours by looking at pictures of things I know are either fake/photoshopped/took 10 hours to make. But they seem so effortless and the instructions that accompany them seem so simple that it’s hard to listen to myself. Case in point: candy buffets at weddings. The typical Pinterest candy buffet looks like this:

                                             Crafted by Willy Wonka himself

When I was planning my wedding, I, as any bride in this country since 2010, got a Pinterest account. I mean, you have to. It’s like going to Costco and not eating any samples; one simply cannot avoid it. Anyways, as I pinned and pinned for a wedding I most certainly could not afford, I came across candy buffets. What a great idea! Nobody likes wedding favors anyways, and I could by candy in bulk and/or at a discount after Easter, get some mason jars at Goodwill and call it a day. Besides, everybody loves candy. Even if my guests were not hungry after dinner and cake they could take it home and remember my (cough) awesome wedding for days. Perfect plan!

Well, not so much. I found it really hard to recreate the pins I had seen. Did you know people charge a LOT of money for fancy apothecary jars? Yeah, they do. If I were to create a perfect candy buffet I would have to shell out hundreds of dollars, which I didn’t have just laying around. So I did the best I could, bought lots of candy and cheap mason jars and hoped for the best. Here’s what my candy buffet looked like:

How I Live Online

                                                 I tried

Not very pin-worthy. I was disappointed, because of course I wanted it to look a lot more elaborate than this, but budget/time/sanity constraints made it impossible. In the end, what I said before turned out to be true: nobody cares about wedding favors. Sure, the guests will take it home, but nobody goes to a wedding because they just have to get that free miniature scented candle with Mr. & Mrs. Whatever engraved in it. No. And the same applies for candy buffets: if the wedding had good food, people will be too full to even think about eating any time soon, so they’ll just leave the candy there. I ended up bringing most of the candy home and eating it over the next few months. I didn’t have a wedding dress to fit into anymore, anyway!

And that’s the main problem with Pinterest: reality eventually happens. A lot of things we see on Pinterest are out of most people’s range of talents, and that’s ok. I’m sure a craftier/richer bride could have put together a candy buffet like the ones I pinned. But my failure at reproducing perfection taught me a very useful lesson: to lower my expectations. Now it’s easier to enjoy Pinterest and all of its illusions for a while when I want to, and then go back to real life.