Once upon a time, I got a Pinterest account. I had to ask for an invitation first, which was a tad obnoxious, but I overlooked that.
I loved Pinterest. It was even more than I thought it would be. Scrolling through pages of beautifully furnished rooms, architectural marvels, lavish confections, and the occasional pithy quote — Pinterest was where I went when the rest of the Internet was pissing me off.
My retreat. My safe haven.
Pinterest is now my angry place, and not just because I’m trying to curtail my consumption of sweets.
I click on a gorgeous clutch only to discover that the link goes to a flash sale or members-only site. I can barely glimpse the name of the designer or brand before the stupid pop-up box blocks my view, directing me to log in or sign up.
I click on a delicious-looking pan of lemon bars only to discover that the link goes to a page entirely unrelated to lemon bars. No recipe.
I click on a stunning photo of a faraway city or countryside only to discover that the link goes to a Tumblr. With no source cited.
It’s been a gradual decline between us, Pinterest and me. I didn’t always get so upset when I clicked through to a dead end. I often just repinned the surface loveliness without investigating the depths.
Now, I click. And when I really love the surface loveliness but the depths are dubious, I go looking for the rightful owner — or a valid source, at least. Sometimes I find one. Sometimes I can only find a never-ending spiral of Tumblrs, like shell companies in the Caribbean.
Pinning stuff from flash sale sites is just annoying, but pinning content created by others — recipes, photographs, DIY how-to’s — without crediting the source…it’s not right. I don’t expect much from those who are ignorant of intellectual property rights and consider the Internet at large to be public domain, but it makes me cringe when fellow creatives inadvertently pin content that doesn’t link back to the source.
So I’m clicking all potential pins before pinning, and I’m spending a bit of time each day clicking through my existing pins to check the links. If the link’s good — great. If not, I look for a valid source and change the link. If I can’t find a proper source, I don’t pin it (or I delete my existing pin). No matter how pretty it is.