I realized yesterday that this is why I dislike so much of Pinterest’s content. There is something extremely dissociative about Pinterest. I was browsing through pictures people had pinned there, and even though I know some of the people pinning quite personally, their content on Pinterest was distancing and often downright offputting.
Why is it so distancing? It’s distancing because most of the pinning going on isn’t actually about what that individual likes or wants; most of the pinning going on is about what that person perceives others will value. That person on Pinterest will never create those twee mini-cakes with the flawless icing and the tiny, ornate birds made of drizzled chocolate, and they don’t even actually want to, and you, in turn, wouldn’t even actually want to eat them, because fondant is nearly inedible. Those pins are about putting those isolated examples of orderly perfection in relation to ourselves like costumes. If our lives were paper dolls, pins on Pinterest would be the paper clothing bent around us.
In this light, a large portion of Pinterest’s content starts to look largely like the great, white, suburban dreamscape of the 1950s pathologized, now crowd-sourced to showcase today’s insecurity with the messier, dirtier, and much less wealthy lives we actually lead. It’s an extension of the pleasure machines we’ve been trained to be: we please the perceived tastes of others with images of things that have little or no relation to who we actually are or what we do — most of which images are of things that are, in themselves, about creating pleasure for others — with hopes of little more than to continue being pleasing.
— Extremely dissociative…