Thursday, August 25, 2011

In which I have severe Pinterest-phobia.

Ok, people. I need a little intervention of the social media variety, and perhaps a wee bit of enabling.

Let's start this cry for help with a little window into my lack of technical proficiency. When I open my laptop, I know how to click on the little icon that gets me to the internet. If that icon is not where I last left it, or if clicking does not open the portal to the online world, I stare blankly at the screen for a few minutes before picking up the phone to call my IT husband to inform him that our internet is broken. This information is met with deep sighs and a futile request for more information, which I cannot give because all I know is that I JUST NEED THE ICON TO TAKE ME TO GOOGLE. There's a button on some contraption down in the basement that he sometimes tells me to push, but it doesn't always work and also there are spiders down there, so usually I just have to wait until he gets home and can take the five seconds to diagnose the issue and fix it with the click of one or possibly two keys.

Oh, I also know how to open and use Microsoft Word. (Thank you. Please hold your applause until the end.) However, do not ask me to create anything in PowerPoint or Excel, because I will cry.

It will come as no surprise, then, that hot new online trends tend to both confound and terrify me. Thankfully, no one but Justin Timberlake thinks that MySpace is awesome anymore, and Facebook is so easy to use that my elderly relatives and I can navigate it. I'm trying to use Twitter, but the state of my progress is very sad indeed, and I really just need someone to come sit beside me and very slowly walk me through things like, "And thiiiiiiiis is how you RE-TWEET something..."

A couple of months back, I started hearing this word "Pinterest" being tossed around here and there. And here and there became everywhere, and suddenly I was experiencing great anxiety yet again about the next big everybody's doing it and it will change your WHOLE LIFE thing.

I ignored it all completely for awhile. At first it seemed like maybe a site aimed at crafty people, and I suffer from severe crafting deficiency. But then a few friends started badgering me with things like, "Oh, but you love to cook and there are recipes EVERYWHERE and you could pin your own and make your own dessert boards..." and at that point I would stop listening because I don't know what pinning means or what a board is and why can't technology just stand still for a little while and let me catch up because I am clearly 72 years old since I just recently started texting. (I KNOW.)

I declined all offers of Pinterest invites, but then a few weeks back I was reading something that mentioned Pinterest boards as a great way to get ideas for kids' birthday parties. And that piqued my interest because as the world's least crafty person, I always feel a little sorry for my children who always end up with party decor and favors from whatever collection Target happens to be carrying at the time. So I wondered..could this place actually be of assistance to non-creative types? In a moment of weakness, I signed up to be placed on the waiting list for invites, secretly hoping it would take some time. But - obviously - within a few hours, a cheerful message arrived in my inbox, welcoming me to the Pinterest world!

I have not touched that e-mail since.

So. This is where I need some help. Here are the things that cause me massive terror about clicking on the link that will actually take me to the step of creating my account:

1. I have heard from numerous people that this is the most incredible thing ever and it's so addictive and such a time drain, but OH MY GOSH it's so worth it and you'll just look and look for hours at a time...(you get the idea). Well, see, I'm already addicted to more than a few time-draining things like my overflowing Google Reader and my habit of perusing food blogs and episodes of Project Runway and all sorts of other web-based frivolity, plus there are the other little jobs of parenting and maintaining my household and, oh, I don't know, writing a book. If I allow myself to fall headfirst into Pinterest, will I be sucked into the quicksand that is it's brilliance, never to be heard from again?

2. There's pinning. And boards. And following. And tagging. And I don't know what any of this is or what it means. And although Megan has created this incredible tutorial that would help any normal person achieve complete Pinterest success, I am not any normal person, and I am bound to be confused.

3. Will this be a source of inspiration, or will it overwhelm me completely?

4. Is there a button in my basement I can push if something goes wrong?

So, please give it to me straight. Knowing what you now know about me (and I'm very sorry about that, by the way), do you think I should give Pinterest a try, or just pretend it doesn't exist?

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