5.16.2016

The Problem With Pinterest

Have you ever looked at social media and felt like everyone else’s marriage was more romantic, their style more hip, and their house more beautifully decorated than yours?

The comparison struggle. is. so. real.

I’m thankful that my pastor and friend, Steven Furtick, agrees. And he’s here with us on the blog today with some practical tips on how to start seeing beyond the traps social media can lure us into.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

What – or who – is your standard of comparison? Often, we are insecure because of unrealistic images against which we judge our spirituality and success.

I call it The Pinterest Perspective.

PCMag defines Pinterest as: A socially oriented photo-sharing site in the form of an online pinboard.

I have a slightly different definition:

Pinterest is a visually driven social media platform strategically designed for nonstop, twenty-four-hours-a- day, seven-days-a-week reminders that your kids are not as well dressed as your neighbors‘ kids, that your home is decorated in the most amateur fashion imaginable, that the pictures you take are bland and artless, that you did a terrible job planning your wedding, and that you live a generally tedious, monotonous existence—unlike everyone else, whose lives are categorically awesome at all times.

Yes, I have a bit of a problem with Pinterest.

Of course, I’m not against social media in general or even Pinterest in particular. Social media is just a tool. And the results it generates reflect the intention of the user. That’s where the trouble starts.

See, any time you’re considering your real life accomplishments or problems from a Pinterest perspective, you are judging yourself against an illusion. When we compare our underwhelming reality to other people’s staged, cropped, filtered photos, we jump to the wrong conclusions. Because we started with the wrong context.

The problem with Pinterest is the problem within us. It‘s the perfect platform for our tendency to pretend, to pose, and to perform, all in an effort to bolster a shaky self-esteem.

I want to challenge you today. When you are faced with the temptation to compare yourself to the glories of others, try contemplating the glory of God instead, in the way Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

I know this sounds a little abstract – (really pal, contemplate? Contemplate this laundry basket…)

But it can be really simple. To contemplate simply means to think about. To consider. To dwell on.

And there are practical ways we can compare less, and contemplate more:

• Some of our social media scrolling can be so routine that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But decreasing your time on it might be as easy as moving apps around on your phone. Take the Bible app or First 5 and put it on the first screen in the easiest place to see. Place the social media icons on the last page. This will force you to make the conscious decision to swipe all the way over to your social media accounts, while your Bible apps remain front and center.

• Instead of going on Instagram or Facebook first thing in the morning to see what everybody else is doing and reading their comments on your feed, spend some time in God’s Word. It would be good to do this before you go to sleep as well. Feed yourself something more substantial, and see if you feel stronger.

• Make it a point to write down and say out loud what you’re thankful for several times a week, if not daily. Focusing on what you’ve been blessed with is one of the first steps to getting out of the comparison trap.

God has so much He wants to show you, but maybe you’ve allowed yourself to become blinded by the images and illusions of this world. 2 Corinthians 3 promises a new point of view and a new level of freedom for those who will dare to remove the veil.

UNQU-Book Cover We’re giving away a signed copy of Pastor Steven’s new book (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things. This book is for anyone who’s ever felt like they just didn’t have what it takes to get through another day. It’s an amazing resource that can apply to your life no matter what season you’re in. To be entered to win, post a comment below with how you’ll be shifting your social media perspective this week. Click here to purchase your copy.

Comments

  1. Michele Cornwell says

    I am so moving apps!!! Great idea! I tell myself every night how I will spend time with God 1st and every morning I check Facebook notifications.

  2. says

    I stumbled across your blog for the first time today, and just wanted to thank you so much for taking the trouble to write… the Holy Spirit used your words to teach me so much about myself! I NEVER realized how much I compared myself to others, and was struggling so hard to have the cleanest, most nicely decorated house… the most obedient kids… the prettiest and most modest wardrobe… the most organized home school…. until today. The scripture you quoted and the point you made about Pinterest (I always saw it as a source of information, not comparison!), struck me deeply today. The Lord used your words to guide my heart into greater freedom. Sweet relief!!!!! Many thanks and God Bless!! <3

    ~ Melissa

  3. DeeDee Bland says

    Loved hearing this today…I JUST decided to give up ..
    My husband and I just finished a 3 month bedroom re-do…all my fault!
    I just HAD to have the room look picture perfect. We’re exhausted broke and now arguing. Last night I made a NO PINTEREST half year Resolution. 3 months No PINTERSET!!! Now I will also move those annoying icons!

    Thank you ..I feel this was my confirmation that I’m on the right track!

  4. says

    Thank you for pointing out my “addiction” to Pinterest! I am seriously taking steps to make spending time with God instead. I have First 5 set as my alarm in the morning and P31 at night before bed. Getting back on track-thank you!

  5. says

    Dear Lysa,

    I am so thankful you are recovering. I hope and pray soon my daughter will catch onto your wisdom!

    I’m honestly thinking of doing away with FB! I find myself spending more time than I want to on it. I compare, see posts of family, and see where I haven’t been included. It hurts to not be a part of my husband’s family, I wonder can two more be that many more? I wonder if they don’t know I love them and want to share in their memories, too?

    But it does tell me of events at my church and other events upcoming. Is there life after FB?

    Just some thoughts!

    Sandy

  6. Kimber says

    I am going to be more determined to start my day with Christ and enjoy getting fun ideas for my family off Pinterest. Keeping in mind that in God’s eyes, I am enough and do not have to meet “Pinterest standards”.

  7. says

    The problem you have with Pinterest is the problem I have with Facebook. I’d like to unplug entirely from Facebook but find I sometimes need it to communicate with family and to know what’s going on in our community. It’s kind of my newspaper replacement. But oh how people and their bragging can bug me. I have “liked” several inspirational pages so I’m getting their posts in my feed which helps to counteract the other posts that drive me crazy. I have removed the fb app from my phone so it’s less easy to connect and I don’t have notifications constantly bombarding me all day long. I can still access it, but on my terms, and in my time.

  8. says

    To think, I started using Pinterest when I lived overseas to save pictures for myself that I found on blogs. there were no English magazines adn to subscribe was ify at best. Now I rarely look and use my boards fo work and those are mostly private. I delete boards and add new regualrly. That massive notice full of visual over load photos and most I am not interested in…I skip it. The potential for the comparison trap is real for any of us at any time!

  9. Rosa Couto says

    Lysa – so happy to read this today. I’m constantly in and out of your blog. I’ve been ready your UnGlued book and devotional and it’s been a great help. Your article on Pinterest and Uninvited sounds so familiar. I am always blessed to have your blog and books – you help so many of us more than you probably are aware. THANK THE LORD YOU ARE STILL WITH US!!! You’re work is not yet done here helping us!!!

    Your readings have been a comfort to me a now single divorced mom of two (17 & 23) for 2 years trying to make sense of all that has occurred – him leaving us for a younger athlete co-worker ; the friends we would entertain who ran and forgot about us; trying to financially support us 3 on my salary after being blessed for so many years with my ex-husbands corporate income that allowed us to enjoy one another and give and share with others.. Being single and feeling alone at times even though I come from a large close nit family surrounded by many great man who have their wives backs and partake in all the chores and raising the kids…

    You have comforted me many days. My faith that was instilled in me by my loving parents (96 & 89) is what I give thanks each day for….. IT IS MY FAITH THAT HAS ALWAYS SUSTAINED ME GUIDED AND SPOKEN TO ME WHEN A TOUGH DECISION WAS NEEDED to love myself and let my ex-husband go…. His life was not a life for me.

    I’m blessed I found First 5 through K-love radio which lead me to P31 Ministries.
    I am a Catholic and am grateful for this ministry and GREAT WOMEN OF FAITH!!!

    I pray for God’s peace and grace so as to lead by example for my kids so they can grow and always know what life is truly about – our purpose here on earth – THAT OUR FAITH IS ALL THAT MATTERS – GOD WILL NEVER FORSAKEN US – KEEP HIM CLOSE!!

    Have a blessed day and Thank You Lisa…

  10. Suzanne Kanyavong says

    I downloaded the first 5 app to be encouraged each morning. Social media can be used for good in moderation.

  11. Debra Madden says

    I have felt really dry for a while now and I have been putting facebook first . I really need to get back to spending time with God first thing. I know that is why I have been feeling lost. When I am having a hard day and I take the time to just pic up any thing with God’s word I feel better. At times I will even lie to myself and think we’ll I will read a devotion on my phone and I end up on facebook. I really need to get back to hearing from God it’s been along time. Thank you for your msg. God bless you . I am going to spend time with God befor I do any thing eles.

  12. Annette says

    I happened on this article from social media. I totally get and agree with what you are saying, but I find it a bit ironic considering Proverbs 31, its authors – and Elevation Church- use social media to promote ministries, books, and products. Also, just wondering how Proverbs 31 feels about its relationship with Steven Furtick since he has come under so much scrutiny lately, most noticeably in relationship to accountability over money and building a multi million dollar home from book revenue. I think both ministries should be willing to answer these questions, especially since you are promoting his book.