“Did you see that on Pinterest?”
We are a generation of dreamers and creators. We are actively pursuing the best, sometimes losing ourselves in the pursuit. Crafts, recipes, home décor, fashion, photography, there is a whole digital world waiting to be “pinned.” I love Pinterest. I do not think that relationship will change. It has so many benefits. Sometimes though, the digitization of creativity scares me.
Often when I do something creative, I am asked if I found it on Pinterest. I may search my boards for inspiration but I am a person who has always been creative, budget aware, great at hair, and love planning parties. My creativity is no longer attributed to myself but to the Internet and the collective collaboration of others. There is benefit and risk here. No one is now unique, although many more have become more creative.
Pinterest has created a creativity war. Birthday parties that were once simple are now over the top and over budget for the sake of creativity. Who saved the most money on their groceries wins the competition. Who made the best homemade table deserves the most friends. This tool is great when we use it within moderation. I love using it to save hundreds on home décor, getting inspired, or learning how to clean that built on grease.
For someone who was creative and “domesticated” before Pinterest, I get offended when I am found as a copy cat. I have often picked up hobbies for a short amount of time mastering just quick enough to drop it before it ever gets put to good use. In a world where we are over inspired, we must learn to push people forward versus holding them back. We must credit them for their creativity and not the Internet.
In such a digital world I also see many women becoming digitally domesticated but when it comes to the kitchen they are clueless. You can Pin 400 recipes but without the proper basic cooking and basic skills where will those bring you? I hope for our generation that people will learn to put down the mobile phone and use their hands. Instead of just being inspired, I hope my generation will learn to do such beautiful things. At one point in time- knowing how to cook, clean, and take care of children were necessary skills for marriage. Everyday women question why they are not married, their pinterest wedding is picture perfect.
Living in a digital world is killing the true skills we need to move forward. Our creativity cannot be our boards; our boards must be the inspiration for the things our hands can create. I was speaking with a friend the other day that is engaged. Her fiancée asked her to learn how to cook and clean before they get married. She is actively pursuing these things for the strength of her marriage. During that conversation she openly confessed she did not know how to make Spaghetti. Her Pinterest is full of yummy recipes but she cannot properly boil noodles? I am so happy for this friend and the steps she is taking for her future. My problem is where as a generation were we failed?
Were we handed everything? Was our access to the media and Internet to easy? Where did people miss the common skills to keep a household running? I grew up with two busy parents. They owned a business and quite often were not able to cook as much as they would like. They both had a passion for it though. They would tell us the spices they used, ask us to set the table, and occasionally get our hands dirty prepping. My mom and her sisters loved to bake. I was more exposed to this skill more than others. It still does not make sense to me why I am so bad at it. Nonetheless, I know how to bake. I know how to make homemade cookies, pie, and brownies. They might not be phenomenal, but my children will one day enjoy them. I continually try to master baking, especially my grandmothers monster cookies.
My aunt who watched me quite frequently as a child was obsessed with crafts and gardening. When I say a dream “Pinterest” craft room, this was the place I created my whole childhood. I saw these spaces before they were ever digitally available. My aunt let me paint figurines, she let me help in the garden, most importantly she let me create. Between my mother and aunts I learned to sew, and crochet as a child as well. I learned Piano. I played sports. I did not live a digitized life. I lived a life.
I hope that the generation to come will not only have Pinterest boards but the skills they need to do them as well. I pray as parents we step back from the media long enough to teach them. If you don’t know these skills, sit with your mother or grandmother and learn. I’m almost positive they would love to teach you. Let’s quit being defined by our “wedding board” and start living out the skills that make us desirable wives. Let’s learn how to do the kids activities and sit with our children to do them. Let’s be a Pinterest Generation, but one not defined by digital creativity.