The Enemy Uses Pinterest

The enemy uses pinterest

photo credit: snow0810 via photopin cc
pinterest button photo credit: The Green Parent via photopin cc
text: Shelly Tiffin

In the middle of my morning outlining a book proposal, a notification that someone had decided to follow me on Pinterest popped up. Distracted by it, I set out to see what it was or who it was. Then, of course, I had to take a quick look at the feed of pins. Thirty minutes later my book proposal wasn’t any further along. Seem familiar?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy beautiful hair creations that I will never be able to master no matter how good the tutorial, wonderfully looking and healthy foods that I highly doubt I could ever get my kids or husband to eat, and even the cutest of spring arts and crafts like wreaths for the front door and ribbons for my girls’ hair that I will never have time to make.

And, I’m not saying these things are bad.

But the word that comes to mind is distraction and when we get distracted it often means precious time is wasted. And time is the one resource we can never make more of. (Although I’ve seen pins that propose you can.)

Although I do not have ADD, I begin to feel like I can understand what someone with it goes through when scrolling through Pinterest. Oh look… something fun, which leads to something pretty, which takes me to somewhere I’d love to visit, which leaves me wondering where the time went an hour later and having nothing, not even a new pin, to show for it.

Now, I can see how some would argue it saves time, and it can. Whether it’s in allowing Pinterest to be a virtual organizing space or finding the right tutorial to nail the perfect dessert for that party you’re having in half the time, I agree that Pinterest can be a great tool.

But to that I have to ask: Why do we have to make the perfect dessert in the first place?

  • Why does everyone have to marvel at it’s presentation and then beg us for the recipe after one bite? And why do we gloat with the phrase “Oh, I found it on Pinterest?”
  • Why do our daughters’ heads have to be consumed by hand made bows that leave everyone asking where we bought them?
  • Why do our kids rooms have to be adorned with the reclaimed window memory board that matches the decor perfectly or the blackboard wall that’s framed with old fencing?
  • Why do our kids have to experience every holiday from sun up to sun down with fun and festive foods for each meal including snacks as well as from head to toe with homemade outfits “thrown” together the night before (thrown? who are we fooling?).

I propose the biggest distraction Pinterest brings is taking our focus off of putting others first and allowing us to place the focus back on ourselves.

It’s subtle.

It’s sneaky.

And, we don’t even realize we are doing it.

That’s exactly how the enemy works.

And, I’m sure some would say they use it to create the most adorable gifts for other people and those super cool gifts for teachers, so obviously, there’s no selfishness in that, right?

Mmmm. Nope. Not buying it.

Although I guess it is possible that I’m the only person in the entire world who has ever given a gift to be disappointed by the response of the receiver.

So, why do our gifts have to stand out? Why does  a teacher need to remember our gift over the one given by the kid who went to Dollar Tree and spent his or her very own dollar for the ceramic house with a garden that the teacher has no clue what to do with? As a teacher, the latter will always mean more.

Oh! And, I can’t forget the fact that we also use Pinterst to post bible verses and devotionals? That’s awesome!  And I truly mean that! We just need to be sure we don’t equate our “spiritual pins” with our spirituality. No amount of pretty Bible verse pins or well written, thought provoking devotionals (including mine) can replace the power of opening God’s word in a place free of distractions.

And, finally whether it’s pins of beautiful kitchens that one could only dream of or places to visit that only the wealthy will ever be able to afford, in adding these to our boards we risk being distracted by what we cannot or will not ever have. This is brings out the ugly in is us too. Coveting, envy, and jealousy never look good on anyone or pinned to anyone’s board.

So, I offer this disclaimer:

Pinterest, when used with an unguarded heart, may cause too much “self-interest.” Tweet This

Religious or not, most people see self-centeredness as a bad thing. However, if you are a Christ follower, you are to do daily battle against it.

Our purpose is to point others to Christ, not to ourselvesTweet This


Now obviously there are many vices at our disposal that can be used for self- glorification, but Pinterest seems to be unique in the”one-upping” and competition it can create in women so that we become each other’s enemy (although most of us would never admit to it).

Instead we link and share articles about how overdone the holidays are (like this one). We give in and go to town on decor, outfits, and goodies for our kids because we are afraid of looking like bad moms, or even worse, that our kids might think we are bad moms because they are the “only ones” going without.

Let’s be sure to remember Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything else you do flows from it” as we pin.

Let’s be sure that we are spending our time and resources on those things that bring glory to the Father.

We can find ways to do this on Pinterest because no one is saying that we shouldn’t use it, just that we should be on guard when we do as with anything else.

So, let me start the idea chain with this. I’ve just started a board on Pinterest called “Go Love on Somebody” and I’d love for you to join me in pinning to it. Simply follow me on Pinterest which you can do on the right hand side of the screen or by clicking here. Then, leave a comment below letting me know you’d like to be invited to pin to it, and I’ll send you the invite to do just that. The goal is to create board geared to “intentional acts of kindness”  and meaningful ways we can pull together as a group of people to show this world a little more love. That includes ways we can better love each other because “they will know us by our love.

Now it’s your turn. You are talented and creative people who know Pinterest well. What other ideas can we come up with? (And no Pinterest support groups :) ) Be sure to leave them in the comments. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Pingback: How to Love with a SMILE

  • Becca – My Crazy Good Life

    Pinterest is my one enemy during the day! I get so distracted by glitter and yummy recipes!

    • Shelly Tiffin

      I know Becca, I can’t even tell you how many I think to myself I’m going to try, but never do.

  • Bethany Jett

    I love the question “Why do we need these things?” Great spin – and definitely thought-provoking. Why do I need some of these things? …and having a “do for others” board is awesome.

    • Shelly Tiffin

      Thanks Bethany, I added the board with you in mind. Hope you’ll pin to it. :)

  • Susie Reed

    I completely agree! I can get lost for hours! One of the first messages I ever heard at my current church – Satan wants to destroy you, if he can’t destroy you he’ll distract you. I’m noticing more and more how easily distracted I am by the shiny!

    • Shelly Tiffin

      Yes, I think of the quote “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy!” I’m no bad girl, but I sure am a busy one! And, I sent you an invite to pin to the board.

  • Jason

    As a new-ish devotee to Pinterest, I have yet to completely lose my head within it’s siren-like call; however, I see how its temptations can completely derail.

    I love your idea of a Kindness board. I’ll be following you momentarily!

    On a side note, I dig your use of the “Tweet this” within your post. Is that a plugin of some kind? I’d love to add that functionality to my posts!

    • Shelly Tiffin

      Thanks Jason! Yes the “Tweet This” is a plugin I added. I’m not a coder and don’t have the time for it. I just went to plugins and put in tweet this and several options came up. When I get to a computer and can find it, I’ll let you know.

  • Ami Adams

    Great post, Shelly! I think the biggest struggle with Pinterest I have, if I’m honest, is with comparison. I see all of these pictures of homes and decorations and furniture, and all of these other crafty and vintage things, and if I allow myself I’ll start thinking that what we have isn’t enough or that I’m less of a woman because my home isn’t decorated like that. Pinterest can definitely be dangerous if we allow ourselves to be sucked into it. Just like Facebook and any other type of social media. But Pinterest is a little more dangerous because it can create a certain type of mindset in us that isn’t healthy or godly.

    • Shelly Tiffin

      Ami, I agree. That’s what I can find myself doing if I’m not careful. I really want to be more about loving others than serving myself.

  • David Mike

    I am also plagued by all the social media. Most of my lost writing time is due to scrolling FB or Twitter. I think I should just pick certain times during the day and put a time limit on it. If only I did not have “Fear Of Missing Out!”

    • Shelly Tiffin

      I hear you on the missing out and I like the idea of “scheduling” social media time. I’m probably going to have to move in that direction myself. There’s a fine balance here that’s hard to keep.