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why, for me, pinterest is personal

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My sister worked in a bakery one summer when we were younger. By the time we went back to school in the fall, she couldn’t stand even looking at cakes or pies or bread.

Because of that, I rarely use Pinterest for business.

You see, I love Pinterest.

Ha ha! I just went back and saw that’s exactly how I started my post when I first discovered Pinterest a few years ago. Well, the love affair is still going strong.

Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar

It’s totally my guilty pleasure, my go-to spot when I need a break. Just like the monthly “Breathing Space” feature in O, The Oprah Magazine (which, by the way, is always a photo — and which, hmm, I’m now thinking I should make a Pinterest board for), it’s a place where I can just look at pretty pictures while I try to clear my mind. When you see me pinning like crazy, you know I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I am very particular about the boards I follow on Pinterest. I love those that are related to books, travel, blankets and handknit items, quotes and journals. I love cottages, beaches, trees and hearts. But I don’t just follow every board about those subjects. They have to really touch me in some visceral way that I can’t explain. The whole tone of the board and the way it’s been curated has to resonate with me.


So, while I’ll happily follow back on Twitter or Facebook or Google+, I’m sorry but Pinterest is off limits. When I’m stressed and I click on Pinterest, I expect to be met with pictures of places I want to visit, libraries I dream of creating in my own home, soft afghans offering me a virtually hug.

I don’t want to see wedding gowns, baby toys or gluten-free meals.

I’ve created a few boards related to my blog and my writing, and I love those because they’re like scrapbooks which I’m happy to share. And I’ve created a Things I Think My Mom Will Find Pinteresting board so my mother can just sign in and see what I’ve found for her. Sometimes I even leave notes for her on the pins.

Pinterest pompoms

Sometimes the instructions aren’t even in English, which is always good for a hilarious email from my mom.

Of course, I will never make most of the DIY crafts I pin — and that’s okay. To me, the point of Pinterest is to be able to dream. It’s the equivalent of the bulletin board that used to hang over my bed when I was a teenager, filled with pictures and quotes that just made me happy to wake up to every morning.

It can also act as a vision board. It’s unlikely I’ll visit all of the places I pin — but I will definitely visit some. And the more I pin home libraries, the more convinced I am I will have my own one day.

As for everything else, it doesn’t even matter whether I ever make/visit them.

It’s enough to be able to just look at them.

I’d love for you to share one of your favorite boards or pins in the comments below.


  1. I adore Pinterest as well. I love how you made it so personal, and it is! Before I started blogging, Pinterest was especially personal. I think because of the social media demands of blogging, it’s not so much anymore. I am planning to create another account for my myself and keep it private. This way, I can have the best of both worlds. Thanks much for the post!

  2. I also am a big fan of pinterest. I can really get to know what makes other people tick by checking out their boards.

  3. Just getting into Pinterest. My escape as well. And I have pinned some of your pins to mine.

  4. I haven’t gotten into it yet, so I appreciated hearing your own point of view and the way others use Pinterest. My goal is to be using it more in ’15….we shall see.

  5. That’s a fabulous way to use Pinterest. I love that you have a board just for Mom. I do a similar thing with boards for each of my daughters. And I have several hidden boards that are just for me. 😀

  6. When I first discovered Pinterest, I had no idea what is was or what to do with it. Now, I adore Pinterest and don’t know how I have lived without it before! I think most people feel the way that you do and I love that you have a board just for your mom. I would love to see the exchange about instructions in something other than English. I am sure it’s hilarious! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Ha ha! I should really not pin anything whose instructions we can’t understand. It’s too frustrating — but often funny! Will check out your boards, too!

  7. I used to spend more time on Pinterest but now focus on FB and Twitter. It was my guilty pleasure for awhile but, honestly, I need to make more time for my books more and do some more charity knitting.

    It’s a great escape, a place you can get comfortable in like a comfy couch.

    Beach? Library? DYI (which is a look-at-only board for me)? Awesome. A board for Mom? Priceless and so very sweet.

  8. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    On Pinterest, I am a little bit of both. I have a few boards with blog stuff, but most of the boards are personal.

  9. My pinterest is a mixture of boards. I think it is a great place to share things you like and to get ideas.

  10. I haven’t tried Pinterest yet, but what’s not to love? All those beautiful pictures are awesome. I love the library you posted above. Really, really, love it!

  11. I agree. I don’t keep up with posting my blog stuff on Pinterest as much as I should. I really do enjoy it as more of a “guilty pleasure” than as a source of readership.

    My favorite board, of all the one’s I’ve created, — and it is probably not well-curated (sorry) — is my “Baking” board. I’ve tried a lot of these recipes. I’ve failed at a few of them and been successful with others (those are the ones I’ve made more than once, LOL!)! I love it, though 🙂 http://www.pinterest.com/javaj240/baking/

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      OMG Jackie! I think I gained 10 pounds just looking at that yummy board! Too bad — or probably a good thing — that I don’t cook.

  12. For me, I love to follow humor boards on Pinterest. They are definitely my guilty pleasure. Here’s a link to my board “Random Funny Stuff.” No rhyme or reason to it, just funny stuff. https://www.pinterest.com/kimdalferes/random-funny-stuff/

  13. I love Pinterest. It’s my private little place. I don’t go looking for followers or to follow. I just look for things that interest me. I love my photography and it was a way for me to put my favorites in one spot. I love to cook, to read, roses, travel, girly things, fun outfits, health, fitness. I have a “delightfuls” board that is anything I find delightful at the time! I have a board for my blog as well, it keeps my posts in one spot and readers can find them if they wish. Here is my “delightfuls” http://www.pinterest.com/suzannestavert/delightfuls/

  14. You know I treat it exactly the same way. It is a place where I go to dream.

  15. I have recently discovered Pinterest! I love it, and I’m overwhelmed with it!

  16. As if I didn’t love you enough already… This. Just this. Everyone needs their own corner of the sky… glad you have a place to disappear then reappear with yourself. Love you my friend

  17. I love Pinterest, but I don’t have the time to get lost in it for hours (like I love to do.) I do use it for new recipes, and have found some great ones!

  18. I do all personal things search on pinterest. Not so much for pinterest. I think I need to learn how to use it for biz

  19. My goal for 2015 is to start doing some of the projects I have been pinning for over two years. Plus make the recipes I have pinned. I pin but seem to never go back and make the items – 2015 will be different – I am going back.

  20. Gosh. I recently wrote an article about Pinterest for a local women’s magazine. I wish I had known this to use you as a source. What a fun perspective. I haven’t been able to really get into it yet — but I love the idea that it is your personal space of beauty and inspiration.

  21. I adore pinterest and love when people keep it real on there. I don’t follow many brands because I like to se what people (actual people, not companies) love. Same on instagram.

  22. I don’t know if I really have a favorite board or pin. I always forget about pinterest and usually think of it when I am extremely bored and have tried everything else. I don’t know why though, I love pinning things. One of those is wedding things – and I am not even engaged or near marriage.

  23. I like to get some ideas for a few things on Pinterst, but not many. I too like the instructions or titles in a language unknown to me because it makes it more exotic and I have an excuse not to make it.

  24. I am not really into Pinterest. I actually never to there other than to manage my own board. I guess maybe I am just to overwhelmed with all of the social media. I have kind of gotten back into reading some of the Lifestyle magazines that I use to. I guess they are like my own personal Pinterest in a limited edition.

  25. I gained a lot of followers when I pinned wedding stuff all the time. I don’t pin that stuff anymore, but I did like to share beautiful photos when I could!

  26. You know what, Pinterest is also personal for me. I do have a business Pinterest account, however, I always find myself using my personal account.

  27. I {heart} Pinterest!
    I totally agree with your picture.
    I never realized how “dorky” I was until I spent hours looking at the geek or history pics. LOL
    I really need to get some “hidden boards”. ROFLMAO!

  28. Amanda Ripsam says:

    Pinterest is something I have been using since it was in beta mode. now I have over 2000 followers on there .I have not been using it as much lately because I have been working a lot on my many other social media sites. I have lots of great stuff I have but haven’t really found the time to go back and actually try any of the stuff I have pinned. I love seeing everyone else’s ideas and finding new blogs to read, new places I want to visit, new things I love to cook. Yep, it’s an addiction to me as well.

  29. Pinterest is personal. People used to add me to their groups and I liked that they thought of me, but I didn’t like the auto add. I want Pinterest to be a reflection of what I like… so I guess to me it’s personal too. 🙂

  30. I also love Pinterest. I finally got my daughter on it and she created a secret board to share stuff with me while she is away at school. It makes me so happy to have this place to go to and connect with her. I’m so glad you have your own place too!

  31. I use Pinterest a lot for business and I admit I don’t get on there as much for fun anymore. But I love what I do and Pinterest helps me be able to do that full time so I guess it’s a trade off I’m willing to do. I would like to find a few minutes to enjoy it again though.

  32. Yes! I love this post! Pinterest used to be my go-to thing for some down-time, but once I started blogging it became all business. I need to make a point of using it again as a personal place rather than a blogging strategy.

  33. I use Pinterest for my down time and dreaming fantasy time too. Every once in a while I find some type of DIY craft that seems simple enough for me to pull off successfully.

  34. Pinterest is amazing, I absolutely love using it!

  35. I am totally addicted to Pinterest! I come from a family of collectors but I am a neat freak. Pinterest lets me obsessively collect pretty things without having to dust them or decide if I’m too old to wear them! I don’t use it for networking – I use it for the pretty pictures and the ability to keep them in cyberspace 🙂

  36. I’m right with you! I discovered Pinterest this year and blogged about it in early January. Here’s the link which pretty much sums up my feelings for this amazing site…


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