Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pinterest: Not everything is a good idea

I love Pinterest and if you know me you know that random fact. Love it. Need to figure dinner? Pinterest. Need a gift idea? Pinterest. Want to know how to do something? Pinterest. It's the path of least resistance where I can find what I need quickly.

Pinterest has a dark side. All those photos of perfection can be demoralizing, of course, but what I'm taking about is how quickly impractical and bad ideas can spread. And some of those pins are downright dangerous DIYs. After seeing yet another pin that made think someone was gonna get themselves killed, I decided it was time to write this post.

I'm starting with the impractical. What do I think an impractical pin is? A pin that looks great in theory, might even be easy to make and proudly display in your home. But when it comes time to get back into the doldrums of daily life, that really neat crafty pin quickly becomes a big, crafty pain in the rump.

What a charming chandelier for your bathroom. Let me be clear: bathroom chandelier. Whomever made this either has staff to clean their home, gets paid to come up with crafts that are pinworthy, or doesn't actually have a bathroom. Also, they have never cleaned a chandelier in any other room where less mess happens. It's an arduous task to clean one. So, yes, pretty, practical, absolutely not.

A penny floor, huh? It's neat and creative. What's it like to mop? What happens when my kid runs through the house at thirty miles per hour in his socks? What happens when I drop a glass and it shatters? What if my house is struck by lightning? Doesn't copper conduct electricity? Frankly, that floor scares me. Thanks, but I'll deal with my linoleum for now.

This mason jar project may be somewhere between impractical and dangerous, unless you are using those electronic tea lights. Firstly, have you ever put tea light in a mason jar? Most tea lights leave a nice black coating of soot around the flame inside the jar. Secondly, if you note the angle of the photo it's probably taken that way because a tea light in a mason jar doesn't make much actual light (or any tea for that matter). I learned this when our power went out in September. I had mason jars and tea lights. I went with votive candles instead. And I don't know how flammable glitter and glue are, but I don't want to find out. How do you clean that DIY? You don't. You throw the jars away when they are icky.  

I am not wasting my time, money and energy on any DIY that I can't easily clean (and will have to throw away 6 months from now cause of the eww) and that possibly has hidden dangers. 

Now for the pins I think are not just impractical, but could possibly harm your home, someone in your home, or worse. I wouldn't make these projects for my enemies even.

Here you are taking Post-It tabs in pretty colors and affixing it to some sort of glass globe over some sort of light (whose wattage is probably 10 or 15). When I was a child, I learned that light bulbs created heat. I learned that glass around a light bulb absorbs heat. I learned not to put flammable things near heat because they catch fire. I also learned that things that were sticky contained some sort of chemical compound that was most likely flammable. What could go wrong when you've created this trendy light? Oh, surely nothing that has to do with the laws of physics. It was on Pinterest, so it's perfectly safe.  

This is an incredibly popular pin that I see in my feed over and over again. I want to SCREAM every single time I see it. The creator of this hack probably failed science... or should have. Rule number one of living in a home where electrical current is present: Do NOT put anything between a plug and a socket. NEVER EVER do this. I would hope you understand why. Actually, the only time you should ever do anything with electricity is when you are a certified electrician. Wanna hang a cell phone holder near the outlet? Get some sort of device that allows you to do so... like a hook that attaches to the wall... otherwise, one day you will find out what happens to your phone when it touches fire.

The best thing to do in a emergency is to not set stuff on fire. In a pinch, a candle, in safe spot in an appropriate and secure place is less than ideal. (Do you have any idea how many fires are started by candles during emergencies? Too many.) Wax does burn, but there's a reason we don't set it on fire and use a wick instead. Have you ever seen a wax fire? For one, it's stinky. Really stinky. It also burns much hotter than a flame on a wick. If you drop this crayon, say good-bye to stuff you like. And the mess that burning crayons would cause if you happened to do it without setting yourself on fire? Not worth it.

Pinterest if full of good ideas, but that doesn't mean bad ideas are absent. Pin responsibly. And remember: pretty doesn't always equal good. Sometimes pretty can be downright deadly.

♥ Carrie

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