Pinterest, the new form of hoarding?

I’ve spent ‘many an hour’ getting sucked into adding images to my Pinterest account. I love that I can stumble upon images that speak to me in a variety of ways, and ‘pin’ them to rediscover later. This process has replaced tearing photos out of magazines and adding them to a giant storage bin (or, more realistically, a pile of clutter that may sit around my living room for months). So, this transformation is a good thing for my daily living environment.

The downside I’ve noticed is that I can literally spend hours going through blogs, or my Google Reader feed, clicking into posts and pinning images┬áthat catch my eye. I do enjoy this. It’s like the weekend morning ritual I learned from my mom–it’s a great thing to do while sipping coffee and taking in the morning sun. And now that the images are glowing on my computer screen, I can look at them during other times of the day without being affected by the unpleasant yellow glow of light bulbs.

So, I spend many hours collecting, collecting, collecting. And then what? I close my laptop and move on to something else. I guess I’m saving my new inspirations for another day somewhere in the future, when I can look upon them and actually use the inspiration for some creative endeavor. Or will I?

As a creative and visual person, I find myself stimulated by the process of collecting inspiration. I love the idea of curating a collection of beauty–it’s a way to showcase my taste and visual aesthetic by showcasing the amazing talent I see in others. It sets me apart from others like me, since no two people have the same outlook on what is considered beautiful.

As I tag images, I automatically sort them into collections, to make it easier for referencing later. If these collections begin to develop a sub-theme, I then sort that theme into it’s own collection. I definitely do reference my collections for inspiration when doing creative work, so I know the whole process is beneficial. The part I get hung up on is spending large amounts of time in one sitting, and not having anything physical to show for my efforts. Have I just spent the past few hours hoarding? Is this a digital form of collecting clutter?

I really want to fight against the notion and physical sensation of the act of hoarding. I don’t want to gather for the sake of gathering. I want there to be a real purpose, since that is my intent of collecting in the first place. I do not want my time collecting beauty to become a way of avoiding the unexciting needs of my daily life. I can be inspired by these images. I can make a workspace that looks “like that”. I can have a home that looks “like that”. The common thread I see in all the interiors I’m inspired by is the lack of clutter. Ironic, isn’t it?

I guess the thing I need to remind myself is that I do have great ideas, and great intentions, and the ability to bring these ideas to fruition. I just need to turn off my computer, and go do it.

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