Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pinterest Manners

You might have noticed by now that I am a stickler for trying to give credit where it is due. I may not be willing to link to the 500 sites that share the same information, but at least one will do.

When I go play on Pinterest, I take the time to keep clicking until I am at the original page it was pinned from...maybe it is that little bit of OCD coming through, but I feel wrong until I have the right credit to give!

I came across this blog post, and thought it would be worth sharing. If nothing else, it is a reminder to use our manners while blogging! She says everything I am thinking, so, we will let her do the talking!

Check out the original article here


One of the things I take the MOST pride in is when people tell me my kids have good manners. I LOVE hearing that compliment. I just think good manners and all around kindness will take you MILES in your life.
With the addition of the internet to our everyday lives, it kind of seems like general manners don’t matter as much anymore.  Mostly because you don’t have to look people in the face.  You don’t have to talk to anyone, and you can literally hide behind your computer.
Rather than get angry about it, I choose to believe it’s just because most people don’t really KNOW how to have internet manners.  And hopefully most people never mean any harm by the things they do or don’t do.  But if you are an avid blog reader/follower…this one’s for you!
(If I felt better, I think I’d invite some friends over and make you a video. For now, you’ll just have to enjoy this awesome one from 1951 talking about table manners….LOVE IT!)

With that in mind, I thought I’d just let you in on some blogging/internet etiquette that I’ve learned.
(and for the record…I didn’t know most of these either…
someone had to teach me. And sometimes the hard way, like I got embarrassed.

Here’s the deal with Pinterest.
  • It’s amazing.
  • It’s changed the way all of us think and keep our ideas straight.
  • It’s super pretty
  • It’s addictive and fun
  • It’s a super fast way to find LOTS of cool stuff
Right?  We love Pinterest.

But here’s what you MUST know….


Every time you pin a recipe, and idea, room decor, craft, holiday idea, organization technique… doesn’t come FROM PINTEREST!
It’s possible that this is just a pet peeve of mine.  But really, it’s about manners.  Pinterest has changed SO MUCH about how blogging works.  I often hear “I got this idea from Pinterest,” when, in fact, some lovely person in the internet universe MADE that idea.
  • They sweat over it.
  • They took pictures of it.
  • They wrote up a post about it.
  • And they’ll never hear that you made, tried, or loved it
I’m not going to tell you not to use Pinterest.  HECK NO!  I love it.  I just want you to think about HOW you use it, and how you refer to things that might be inspired by something on the site.  Take a minute and see where that idea came from.  Who was the mastermind behind that beautiful picture/idea that inspired you?  And even better….take a second to tell them that you love it.  It’s just good manners.
And please, just for me, NEVER SAY, “I got this idea from Pinterest” again.  Deal?

Again, Pinterest has revolutionized the way we view blogging, and sharing ideas.  Particularly creative ideas such as cooking, and crafting (barf, I hate that word) and decorating, and DIY’ing.
I’ve had very deep conversations with some of my blogging friends (many who I consider to be BLOGGING SUPERSTARS!)  Who say they are just ready to quit.  Be all done with blogging.  It’s just not satisfying for them anymore.
Well, people used to come to your blog and look around.  Many would comment on the things they liked.  Many would leave messages thanking the blogger for the amazing work they were doing.  Many relationships were formed when a blogger was able to respond to a comment and form an actual friendship.
Now, those pictures are pinned.  And many, if not most, of the people don’t even stop by the blog.
Think of it like this….
  • how do you feel when you’ve put a MAJOR amount of work into a project at work?
  • how do you feel when you’ve spent the whole day cleaning the house?
  • how do you feel when you put tons of effort into looking extra cute?


Boo!  It’s the worst feeling ever!  Can you kind of understand how they feel?  Making a blog post takes several hours just to write, let alone all the work that goes in to making whatever thing is being featured.
And I know you MIGHT have the impression that these bloggers are making tons of money to do what they do.  But I can tell you?  They DON’T.  Most make next to nothing.  Some make enough to cover the cost of their supplies.  And VERY few make actual money.  (and most I know put that money back into things they can blog about and show you!)
What would we do without these bloggers?  These people that STARTED the idea of sharing creative ideas.  These people who give away their genius talents?  Let’s not make it so they want to quit.
Show your favorite bloggers that you love them.  I’m not kidding.  They will keep going if they start feeling a connection with readers again.  It’s just good manners to share your appreciation.  Let’s all learn to say “thank you” more often!  Okay?

Of course you knew this one was coming.  The nastiness that flourishes because no one can see you as you type your hateful comments, opinions, or words.
Sometimes I just think, “if you were looking that girl in the face, would you say that?”  And maybe some people would.  Because mean people exist.  BUT….I think for the most part the answer is no.
Here’s one….
  • Did you know that a site owner can look on Pinterest and see the comments from items that have been pinned from their site?
Yep.  So when you make a comment…(and this is a real one that happened to a friend of mine)
“Great idea, but I’d want to make it actually cute”

Really?  How do you think she felt about that?  I mean, it’s not like super horrible.  But is it necessary?  She worked really hard on that.  If you want to make it different, just do it.  I totally tend to think people don’t realize that what they write can be seen.  Now you know.
But remember….that EVERYTHING you write on the internet….has the ability to be seen.  Be thoughtful.
Can I share with you a VERY personal story?
One time, on Facebook, I made a comment about an old High School friend’s husband.  It wasn’t nice.  But I put it on a page of a person that didn’t know her.  I didn’t use her name.  No big deal.  I am friends on FB with this high school friend….but these people don’t know each other AT ALL.
Well….the internet has a funny way of saving all your words.
Through whatever channel…whether it was “Lara made a comment on so and so’s page” or whatever…. This high school friend read EXACTLY what I wrote.
I would have had no idea, except that she decided to write me an e-mail and confront me. You guys…..I DIE!  I swear, I try to be a nice person most of the time.  I’m not perfect.  But I was caught in a big ‘ol moment of true bitchiness. (pardon)
The e-mail, however, ended with her telling me that she truly forgave me for what I said.  And she hoped that in the future, I would know that things I say, can hurt others.   I have rarely been so inspired in my lifetime.  And so completely humbled.  It takes an amazing person to offer that kind of forgiveness.  And I have never forgotten it.  I immediately responded with a sincere apology, taking full responsibility, and thanking her whole-heartedly for the forgiveness she offered.
I learned such a lesson.  There is NO REASON to be unkind.  No reason to write unkind words.  And if you decide to… prepared to be found out.
Just because you can leave an “anonymous” comment.  Doesn’t mean you should.
I ADORE how Ellen Degeneres ends her show every day.  It’s how I want to end this post.


Post edit: 10/3/12:  I am overwhelmed by the response to this post.  Overwhelmed.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  And I ADORE and appreciate all the wonderful support I’ve received from many, many, comments.
However, my comment space has become a place where many people feel like they’d like to voice their negative opinions about bloggers, pinterest, and my thoughts.  And frankly, on a post that was written to promote kindness, that response has been disappointing.
If you notice, the article asks people not to say “I got this idea from Pinterest”. Which I hope we can all agree is a very different thing than saying  “I found this on Pinterest”. 
Discovering new things on Pinterest is the thing that is great about the site. And I love to find new friends and talent there, just like you. But the site, on it’s own, doesn’t come up with any ideas. And that is what I am asking people to consider. In no way do I hate Pinterest.  Which was actually mentioned several times.
That’s not in question. 
The negative comments about bloggers and their need for a pat on the back hurts my heart.  These are my friends, and some of the most humble women on earth.  They are giving this community FREE ideas, patterns, and step-by-step instructions for projects.  Saying “thank you” isn’t about an ego….it’s just good manners.
I just am baffled as to why the end of the article about “treat others kindly” doesn’t apply to them.

Because I value SO MUCH the kind-space with which I wrote and shared this article, I have decided to turn the comments section off.  I hope the article continues to help people think about Internet manners and how to be kinder to those whom you interact with words. 
But in that spirit, I just can’t foster a place for people to be unkind.  It’s the opposite of what I mean at Less Cake {more frosting}.  This website is about love, laughing, and support.  Period.
It has nothing to do with your right to express yourself.  And you’re more than welcome to express yourself on your own site.  But here…I just like to feel warm fuzzies.  That’s what my body needs to recover right now.  (did you know I’ve been sick and in bed for 6 months?) I hope you’ll understand that.  You know where to find me if you need me.  :)
And I’m still ‘lil old me…who loves frosting, and friends, and giggles.

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