Hi, I’m Laura.  And I am a hoarder.  On Pinterest.

Pinterest has officially become my favorite new time suck – more so than Facebook.  When I have a few minutes to kill, I go on Pinterest, and start pinning.  And then it turns into hours. And hours.  And hours.  I just can’t get enough.

I’ve had several people ask me why I love it so much.   I know I wondered the same thing before I started doing it.  What was the fascination with looking at “bookmarked stuff of interest on the internet”, all based on the opinions of a lot of people you’ve never met?  It just seemed weird.

It IS a little weird, but it balances out by being awesome.  Let me try to explain.

It’s Inspiring

For anyone who knows absolutely nothing about Pinterest, it’s basically a website that allows people to “pin” things from the web – fashion, recipes, photography, sports, travel, products, technology, illustrations, kids stuff, weddings, quotes, and more.  If you’re browsing the web and see something you like, you can create a “pin” of it on Pinterest, and write a short little description of why you like that particular thing (example:  You see a beautiful suede coat on a fashion blog or store website that you covet, so you “pin” it to your Pinterest page and write “Love the color, must have this for fall!”).  You create your own inspiration “boards” that you pin stuff to, which you can categorize and label any way you wish.  You can make boards public or private, and invite specific people to see and even contribute to a board.  You can “follow” people who frequently pin stuff you like so when you open your main page you’ll see all their latest pins, and then pin any of their pins to your page as well.

Why is this useful?  Because unlike a physical corkboard that you might fill with tear pages from magazines to inspire you or remind you of things you like, Pinterest links you to websites where you might actually be able to acquire those things.  It’s significantly less clutter and effort than an actual inspiration board, and because it’s online, there are thousands of resources at your fingertips.  Not to mention the whole “pinning someone else’s pin”, which is like having other people do all the work for you.

I know people who’ve used Pinterest to keep track of ideas for their weddings, home decorating, hairstyles they’d like to try, inspirational quotes, or where they’d like to go on vacation.  It’s a place to daydream, a way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s new, and  a means to collaborate on an idea with other people.

In short, awesome, right?  But wait, there’s more.

It’s Food Porn

I probably spend the most time on the Food & Drink category of Pinterest.  It’s pin after pin of recipes with photos, and the pictures always look AMAZING.  And the best part is, if you see a food pin you like, and click on it, you will go straight to the recipe.  I’ve tried several new recipes that I saw on Pinterest, and they’ve all been great.  My recipe board is mostly filled with dessert-type stuff – I just pinned recipes for chocolate oreo cream cake, chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, deep dish Milky Way cookies,  cake batter bark, and salted caramel cheesecake bars.  But I do balance it out with healthy stuff, like fruit (boozy strawberry limeade) and protein (chicken cooked in a crock pot with BBQ sauce and Cherry Coke).  It’s the perfect place to solve the “What should I make for dinner?” quandary, and a way to break out of a rut.  I love love love it.

Oh, and also?  It’s Free.

As I mentioned, I’m on a stuff diet, so I am staying away from stores.  But one of the things I’ve always loved most about shopping was that it served as a means of inspiration. Even if I don’t buy something, I love looking at new things, getting new ideas, and seeing new styles and trends.  Pinterest helps me fill that void.  It’s free to join and I can “collect” things I love at no cost, or build wish lists of things that I want to buy someday when I do have more money.

True, It can fill me with want for stuff I can’t have.  I may have even acted on that impulse a few times.  But I’ve also noticed that sometimes, when I’m in a hardcore phase of wanting a new stuff high, I will pin a ton of stuff, and then later when I go back and look at it, I’m not sure why I pinned some of it and will delete all the things that I don’t still love.  It’s kind of like going on a shopping spree and then coming to your senses a few days later and returning a bunch of the items you bought, only far more convenient and your credit card never takes a hit.

So there you have it.  I virtually hoard things on Pinterest.  And since it fills me with inspiration and doesn’t cost a penny, it’s  lagom.

English: Red Pinterest logo