Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SFU chapter.

Like every other Gen Z girl (aka Zoomer, lol), I too am guilty of spending countless hours on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest has its quirks when it comes to spiced latte season and learning how to decorate a tree during the holidays, but after years on the app, you begin to realize a few things. In my opinion, Pinterest, while appearing to be a harmless and fun app for everyone, is actually not worth the hype it deserves for a few problematic reasons.

If you have ever been sucked down the rabbithole called Pinterest, you must have been venturing its food and recipe section at some point. The app can be a great inspiration for those nights when you have no idea what to eat while trying to consume less processed foods, but with the vast selection it has to offer, people spend more time ogling than actually producing. Having a selection can be great, (like at a buffet table when the food is in front of you!) but not when you can’t decide between making “authentic avocado toast with chia seeds and everything-everything bagel seasoning” rather than “overnight apple cinnamon oats”.  If anything, it gives you an idea for what to make the next day, like with the example of overnight oats recipes. Gawking at these time-consuming recipes when you’re not hungry or on some strict diet is like poking the bear with a stick; it will not end well because it might just lead to unexpected and arguably unwanted binging.

Not only are these homemade recipes devious in psychological ways, but the names they are given are oftentime quite ridiculous. Titles like “Best Grilled Chicken with Spiced Gravy,” “Creamy  One Pot Pasta with Homegrown Mushrooms,” or “Vegan Sun-Dried Tomatoes Pasta with Herbs,” are misleading. More often than not, they are not as extravagant to make and taste nothing like you’d expect. From personal experiences, one-pot pasta of any kind should be avoided at all costs, no matter how convenient it might seem; the pasta ends up being gross, definitely not al-dente, and not anywhere close to creamy as the picture. At this point, it might be wiser to just order that extra cheesy pizza or Thai cuisine from your local shop!

One could easily say: you just need practice, or you just play around with the recipe; allow me to disagree here, because that creamy texture was *very* watery and before you say anything… no, I’m not completely clueless when it comes to cooking. Some recipes are also just too basic to own such restaurant-styled names; it can be very misleading and cause expectations to end up like your pasta…down the drain, especially when you browse the wellness/diet portion of Pinterest with its “promising” recipes. By giving people false hopes about their “promising” recipes being the only way to stay healthy, it settles the fear that they may be stuck on some terrible tasting low-carb protein pasta or veggie chickpea salad forever, especially if they keep viewing Pinterest as they do without any respect to what they like!

The app is also no better than a recycling bin that keeps recycling old content until you delete it from your phone or create another account. Understandably, it is like every other social media platform that wants to have you hooked for a large majority of your time; if you look at the purpose of Pinterest objectively, it is simply repeating content concerning your margin of interest while suggesting new content. You could have outgrown your old teenage Pinterest self from when you started, but Pinterest has to bring back that subdued part of yourself from when you used to fangirl over Draco Malfoy and Zayn Malik, or was facing the impossible decision to choose team Edward over team Jacob. Nostalgia can be great but not when you’re actually trying to outgrow your old habits. Again, resorting to food, a person could be trying their best to look for low-carb recipes but once they stumble upon a picture of their favourite coconut macaroon with a new twist, good intentions can only go so far. Discipline may not be everyone’s strong suit and for the weak-hearted such as myself, I will fall head over heels for any cake recipe that involves chocolate. 

Bottom line, Pinterest can be a great tool for ideas and fostering creativity when it comes to DIY upholstering, but for food or changing habits, you’re probably better off without it. Since Pinterest wants you to ogle their delicacies for hours before disappointing the expectations created over such extravagant names, in a twisted way, it is luring you. If you really want recycled content, I suggest rewatching that Netflix show you’ve binged trice before. 

Manpreet is a Psychology student at Simon Fraser University and also happens to be a heavy baker of anything sweet and a hopeless romantic by heart. When she is not busy reading, writing, working part-time, or drinking wine, she can be found with her high school friends planning something.