Are we Pinterest users really collectors?

The conversation at the breakfast table this morning revolved around Pinterest.

The Significant Other, in between bites of buttered toast, gloated that he’d read an article that 80 percent of Pinterest users are women.

(Never you mind that he too has a Pinterest account where he pins images of American classic cars.)

And I say gloated because in the past, he’s likened my love of pinning to collecting.

“Come on, Bella. You can’t deny women love to collect things! If you really think about it, pinning reminds me of something one of my female cousins used to do.”

“You mean, the one I met at Christmas who told me she made a voodoo doll with your name on it when she was eight?”

“Funny! No, I’m referring to how she used to collect paper clothes for her paper dolls. You women collect pins in the same way.”

I pondered what he’d said a few minutes before replying, “Pinning reminds me of how you boys collected Hot Wheels and stuffed them in a tiny yellow suit case that had a million compartments.”

“Oh, just pass the butter already!”

Long after the breakfast dishes had been cleared, I was still thinking about what the Significant Other had said.

And I have to admit he’s right.

For the most part, I dare say many of us are collecting photos of shoes we’re never going to buy, food we’re never going to cook, and weddings we may never celebrate.

This makes me wonder what prompts us to continue exercising the role of “collector.”

Is it because each photo allows us to dream of possibilities?

Or is it because deep down inside we all love pretty things?

I will admit that I use Pinterest as my personal vision board–one gigantic vision board composed of 31 smaller boards, totaling 3,426 pins.

Yes, folks, to date 3,426 of “possibilities,” of “some day,” of “in my alternate universe,” and of “how I wish.”

But before this post becomes a long winded narrative on dreaming and imagining, I have something to say about Pinterest.

Or better yet, its users.

And what better way to say it than a letter?

A letter I composed in my head immediately after I verified how many pins I had actually “collected.”

Dear Pinterest User:

If you take the trouble to “repin” 67 of my pins in one sitting, why not have the courtesy to click the “like” button at least once?

Or for that matter, why not just follow my board?

I think you owe me at least that after having used all of my pins to create your own “Too Cute for Words” board.

Also, if you pin a pin, doesn’t that mean you like it enough to pin it?
And if that’s the case, what prevents you from clicking the “like” button?

I’m under the impression that there is no charge for such actions but in so doing, you’re showing appreciation to the person who took the trouble to pin the pins you have now collected.

(In this case, me, but it could be someone else.)

Please do not read this letter as a gripe.
Instead, see it as a reminder that it’s always nice to show appreciation to those who help you dream; to those whose dreams are similar to yours.

After all, considering Pinterest has brought us together, don’t you think it’s nice to show a little solidarity to a fellow dreamer?


What’s your greatest peeve about Pinterest users?

Note: So what do Roxy and Olivia have to do with Pinterest?
Not a thing! I just thought I’d start off your week with a little love from my favorite furry friends!

Follow Me on Pinterest


46 thoughts on “Are we Pinterest users really collectors?

  1. I don’t agree that all women are collectors – you have to visit my place to know that I may be the only exception to the rule. There’s only one collector in our house and his name begins with a J. ;)
    I wish you could really send your letter off to the re-pinner-of-your-pins who refuses to be a liker!

    1. Corinne, my friend, hello! I know you are the exception to the rule. We should all be more like you, amiga, and you know I mean that! J is a collector? A man after my own heart! hee hee! Perhaps I should pin this post! :)

  2. I love the photo of Roxy and Olivia. Must stir some wonderful memories of summer! As for Pinterest, the way I see it, it’s a virtual collection. At least, we’re not cluttering our house with stuff. I love it, being able to gather all these pretty things, gorgeous photos in one never-ending bulletin board. To be honest, I rarely think about the “like” button. I think I though “re-pinning” said it all. But thanks for pointing that out. I’ll be more aware of that now. Thanks, Bella!

    1. Monica, have you been pinning my pins without hitting the “like” button? hee hee! You’re so right, lady–Pinterest does award us the chance to collect things without actually collecting anything concrete. It reminds me of when my sisters and I collected animal cards. We had the animal card even if we didn’t actually have the animal! ha! :)

  3. Bella, you had me with that sweet photo of Roxy and Olivia! I don’t do Pinterest. I’ve thought about it, but with all the hoopla surrounding people who cut-and-paste pictures on their blogs without permission, I don’t know how Pinterest users get away from being sued for copyright infringement. Hmm, maybe I need to investigate a bit more — I, too, love pretty things, and nobody’s house is big enough for all the pretty things I’d like having around, heehee!

    1. Debbie, I have wondered the same thing time and time again. In the beginning, I was quite wary. I thought of the Napster fiasco and thought it would be best to delete my boards. However, seeing Pinterest’s popularity and how even the high and mighty pin, I decided to stick around for a bit. I’m sure I’ll get bored eventually, but until then I’m going to continue collecting photos of stuff I’ll never be able to afford! ha! :)

    1. Kim, my sister’s an avid hair styles collector! This summer she bought at least five hair style magazine, butchered them, and pasted the images in her journal. This for when she returned to the States to her normal hair stylist. Apparently, she loves the European hair styles but doesn’t trust the European hair stylists! hee hee! Love you, lady! :)

  4. Ahhhh Pinterest. That addictive little bugger. I used to pin all the time– multiple times per hour, even. I’ve toned it down now, and pin maybe once a day, but I really can’t stand it when there is ONE image that gets repinned like crazy, so searching for a delicious broccoli recipe yields only 3 different results. UGH.

    1. Laura, why does that have to happen, right? I think I’m following every coffee board on Pinterest and now when I search, I get the same images! Argh! I follow your pins and I have to admit my favorites are the ones of your outfits! :)

  5. I use Pinterest in bits and spurts. When I got engaged, I used it all the time just to keep track of ideas. And since the wedding, I’m not on the site anymore too often. But I totally agree, when I do post, it’s mainly recipes, workouts and activities that I will never use or revisit. But there always that “maybe” factor. I could see myself using it when we buy a home for decorating ideas, but again, it probably won’t go further than my board! Thank you for pointing out showing appreciation by liking or following boards. I have to be honest, I have been bad about doing that so thank you for the reminder!

    1. Caryn, I kid you not, I have boards filled with stuff I’ll never be able to afford. One of my boards is titled, “Beautiful things for my villa in Tuscany,”–a villa that doesn’t yet exist. All of this makes me think that I’m a dreamer and that I like pretty things. Sigh. I hope the Pinterest craze diminishes soon. It’s starting to make me feel frustrated! hee hee! :)

  6. Well, Bella, this is the best explanation I’ve seen yet for people like me who wonder: What the hell is Pinterest???!! I just looked at your bulletin board and it’s soooooo pretty!!! But the idea of pinning and re-pinning virtual stuff makes me woozy–not enough time in the day…. (And I’m wondering about what Debbie said above about copyright. Is this an issue?) xxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you, Jann! I’m glad you like my “vision” board. Like Debbie, I used to wonder about copyright infringement. However, given the amount of Pinterest users, it would appear that not many people are giving a hoot. Perhaps I should–with my luck, I’ll be the only one they come after! hee hee! Bacione! :)

  7. I am anxious to sit and look through your pins! Pinterest is great for collecting when you don’t like clutter or have the space for the real thing :)

    1. Hi Sonja! I would be delighted if you looked through my pins! Maybe we have dreams in common, lady! Let me know if this is the case! :)

  8. Collectors of awesomeness, yeah! (How can you tell I’ve been watching Kung Fu Panda with my grandkids . . .) Everyone I know is a collector. My husby collects books and build-it-yourself magazines. And tools. My son collects gun and knife-making magazines. And more tools. Another son collects musical scores. And piano stuff. Another son? Vintage Nintendo games and consoles. You see? It’s in the nature. The human nature!

    1. Diane, you’re so right–we are all, for the most part, avid collectors. I think collecting helps define who we are! ha! The Signficant Other collects American car images and talks about them for hours. Yawn! And I love that you watched Kung Fu Panda! :)

  9. I’d follow you on Pinterest, but I don’t have an account (or if I do, I haven’t used it.) Loving your blog. I’m nominating you for the Liebster award. I really want to introduce some new blogs to my blog friends and make some new ones while I’m at it.

    1. Sheila, thank you for your kind words. I am honored to be nominated by you, thank you! And I love that you’re introducing new blogs to your blog friends! You’re always welcome to add your two cents here! My wonderful readers love reading comments and now you’re part of the clan! Welcome! :)

  10. Bella, I quit Pinterest cold turkey a few months ago and deleted my account after it got hacked and spammed and I received no help from the powers-that-be. I love the idea of Pinterest but I feel like there are just too many cooks in the kitchen for problems to be dealt with properly and swiftly. Disappointing, for sure.

    1. Heidi, I’m sorry you had to delete your account! You sure have bad luck with your accounts being hacked, girlfriend. In any case, if I had found myself in your circumstances, I would have done the same thing you did. I think that more help should be available to users. One the things I found funny was that I got an email telling me that I had pinned something which contained nudity and that this went against Pinterest’s policy. I was shocked considering I have never pinned any nude pins (unless you count me looking at pins of Gabriel Macht and undressing him in my heahead! hee hee!) Anyway, I found it ridiculous to get this letter considering how many people have an abundance of nude pins (which is okay by me, don’t get me wrong.) :)

  11. I love the photo of Roxy and Olivia!
    I don’t use Pinterest, so I can’t really sat anything on the subject. Although, there’s this one thing (which I probably ask out of ignorance) – if somebody repins something of yours, why would also liking it be necessary? If they liked it enough to repin it, doesn’t that also show they appreciate it?

    1. Ivana, I shall relay your message to Olivia and Roxy. I’m certain they will be tickled pink! To answer your question, it’s not necessary to hit the like button after you pin. I just think it’s a courteous way to tell a fellow pinner that you like what he/she pinned. And yes, repinning shows that the person liked it. Nevertheless, it still is good etiquette to click that like button! :)

    1. Irene, thank you for following me on Pinterest and pinning Olivia and Roxy! How sweet are you, amiga! I love how you say you collect “wishes made into photos.” For sure, that is the perfect way to describe pins! :)

  12. Pinterest actually changed their policy since the initial one, I think that’s why many people did not get on board because of the whole copyright infringement issue.
    As for collecting, I am far more minimal than I used to be, but yes do collect some things. I believe most people collect something, can be tangible or not! I think the question really is defining collect, if collect to you means loving to wear/buy certain things then yes. I’m not a hoarder though, and if ever it came down to choosing a materiel item and having to leave it I likely could (if necessary), having moved most of my life I’ve learnt to appreciate what I do collect, but not let it consume me. And yes, I love Pinterest! I always forget that you can just follow only 1 board, instead of a person’s entire inspiration. Then, I’m usually stuck with all of their boards when I may only like 1 or 2 of them, haha! :)

    1. Hi Lady! I agree with you wholeheartedly–we can either collect tangible or non-tangible things! I think that’s what makes Pinterest so addictive–the fact that we can collect things without the actual clutter! ha! I’ll admit that my only collections are the photos on Pinterest. My allergies don’t allow me to have anything in the home that isn’t functional. Sigh. I guess that’s how I compensate! hee hee! I’m always careful to look through a pinner’s boards before committing to following all boards. This caution might stem from the fact that in the beginning, I got stuck with loads of images of cats–cats in flower beds, cats in pet costumes, cats in window sills. Needless to say, Roxy was not amused! hee hee! :)

  13. To answer your question about why we continue to collect, I think it’s a little bit of both. People love to imagine, and Pinterest is great for that. And we love things we wouldn’t know how to make ourselves, too. As for “liking” pins, I have to be honest and say that I prefer people to repin my pins than “like” them. When I get notification that someone has “liked” a pin, I’m like, “Yeah, OK. That’s cool.” But I always think they obviously didn’t like it enough to keep it for themselves by repinning it. But when someone repins a pin? Well. That means they liked it SO MUCH, they wanted to keep it forever and ever. :)

    1. Laura, now that I read your comment, I realize you’re right–just hitting the like button seems to transmit the message that you like the pin but not enough to pin it. Pinning is wonderful because indeed the message is just like you describe it. But imagine what the message is when the pin it and like it? Aha! That’s what I’m talking about! It says, your pin is fantastic and I want to keep it forever and ever! hee hee! Thank goodness for our vivid imaginations, sister! :)

  14. I’m actually on pinterest now, but only with travel inspirations. I love pinning my travel photos or those of others that inspire me to pack my bag! As I understand, you’ve been traveling around this summer yourself!

    1. Renee, I have a friend who only collects destination pins which she promptly pins to a board titled “Places to go before I croak.” Catchy, right? hee hee! I love, love travel photos. I have quite a few myself on my “It’s a small world” board and my “Bucket List” board. To answer your question, my friend, yes, I just got back! I was in Spain visiting my mom and family. I had a wonderful time but the WiFi service left much to be desired this year. Hence, it was good to get back to my broadband! I was missing my blog reading! :)

  15. I actually had to cut back on my Pinterest involvement since I was getting truly *addicted*. Before I know it, I can blow an hour or so doing nothing but staring at stuff. I don’t pin that much, just loooooooook. And look and look and look.

    I need to get back to it and get involved more, instead of just staring. Thanks to you, Bella, I’ll now have better manners!

    1. Thank you, Eloise! Feel free to help yourself to whatever you want! I’m looking forward to seeing how your pin boards develop! :)

    2. Eloise, I’m following your boards! But sister, you need to stop looking and start pinning! hee hee! I’m excited to see what you’re going to pin and what kind of vision board you are going to put together! I can’t wait! :)

  16. Since I don’t even know what Pinterest is, I’ll just sit here and chuckle at the morning conversation. “Oh, just pass the butter already!” Snicker!!! So funny and so true. My son collected little metal cars up until about 2 years ago (he’s heading toward 30 in a week). He donated them all to a little boy who fell in love with them. Phew. Sure saving me a LOT of money (hoho).

    I do understand one principle – the dream board. I have a bulletin board I pin things onto that I am working toward (goals). Pix of me at my most slender, a book to represent one I’m working on, things like that. I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”

    1. Nan, I love what you have on your dream board! I have a vision book where I glue photos of Tuscany, beautiful furniture, olive oil, and anything I dream of having one fine day. I take the little notebook with me everywhere, just in case I see something I like. Sometimes I include poems or mantras I create myself. I guess it’s more like a “positivity” notebook. Talking about the tiny cars, don’t tell the Son I told you, but he still has his little Matchbox suitcase! hee hee! The Significant Other scours second hand stores looking for tiny models of muscle cars! ha! I’m glad that it’s subjects like these that serve to enliven our conversations! :)

    1. Una, I find myself creating boards for pins I like and don’t have a specific board for. Hmm..must be why I’m now up to 31 boards! ha! I even created a board titled, “Random stuff I love” for the pins I can’t classify! hee hee! Methinks Ms. Laura needs a patent on her Pinterest protocol! ha! I love it! Hugs! :)

  17. I love this photo. I haven’t gotten to pinterest yet. I have no time with my blogs as it it, unfortunately. But if I had a Pinterest account, I’d pin you, join your group, etc., etc. xoxox

    1. Paz, thank you for your kind words, sister! You’re right–Pinterest does seem to take up a lot of time and I really have to set aside a time to “pin.” However, I will confess that it’s quite the relaxing activity when I’m want to decompress. Try it! :)

  18. Good post! I tried to join Pinterest after taking a look at it then I remembered I could barely keep up with my blog so why add another site on my ‘to do’ list. Good letter to Pinteresters..LOL

    1. Eve, I find myself having less time to do anything blog related lately. Perhaps I’m pinning too much? hee hee! Seriously though, I’m going to have to limit the time I spend on Pinterest lest I become addicted! ha! :)

  19. I use pinterest but to be honest with you I only use it because it drive traffic to my site. I am not a collector per say but I am know my husband does collect unnecessary things .

    1. Ciaa, would you believe I never post my posts to Pinterest? I know many bloggers do but I haven’t gotten around to doing that. And while we’re on the subject of collecting, I wonder why men collect so many useless things! hee hee! :)

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