If you’ve ever known the debilitating defeat of “sobbing quietly into a burnt mess of expensive ingredients that were supposed to be adorable bunny cookies for the school bake sale,” you may be suffering from “Pinterest Stress,” according to TODAY Moms.
Their survey of 7,000 moms in the U.S. found that about 42% have suffered from feelings of uselessness and high anxiety thanks to the magazine perfection of the projects that exist on the social networking site Pinterest (a quick obligatory rundown for those who aren't aware: Pinterest is a photo-sharing site that mimics a pinboard and allows users to share images that reflect their interests. The site has become popular with users, the majority of them women, showing off their home projects). Some say they’ve stayed up until 3 a.m., pinning ideas that they ultimately won’t be able to complete, or can’t complete to their own unreasonable and unrealistic standards. Why? Because being a mom is hard enough without trying to put together a three-tiered, multi-colored cake extravaganza every time one of your kids has something to celebrate.
“Pinterest is largely a site of unrealized dreams,” explained Jenna Anderson, herself a mom and also the creator of “Pinterest Fail,” a blog that documents Pinterest projects gone wrong — or, as the site says: “Where good intentions come to die.” In the TODAY article, Anderson went on to say that she’s overheard many moms be self-deprecating about the efforts they put into the parties, crafts, and baking projects they take on for their children.
“It’s so easy to get depressed,” she said. “You start to feel like your entire life has to be like a magazine all the time.”
In fact, it’s not just Pinterest causing moms to feel bad about themselves. Social media is generally bad for all of us — constantly being fed snapshots of other peoples’ happy moments of perfection makes it easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling with work, relationships, or life in general. Continually focusing on creating your own “happy” moments — perfect meals to Instagram, perfect family photos for Facebook, perfect moments of social interaction for Vine — instead of just enjoying your life as it’s happening can cause massive levels of anxiety, and even depression.
Maybe all those suffering from "Pinterest Stress" or "[insert social media] anxiety" should just take a step back and focus on enjoying their lives and not comparing themselves to all their "friends and followers." And, anyway, we didn’t grow up with elaborate Cookie Monster cupcakes on our fourth birthdays, and we turned out just fine, right?
[Pic via Flickr — ShardsOfBlue]