12 Reasons Pinterest Has Become My Online Man Cave

12 Reasons Pinterest Has Become My Online Man Cave

How Pinterest helped me escape the politics of Twitter and Facebook and discover the things I really love about the Internet.
Matthew Braun
By

As the world of social media grows more grim, some people are giving up on Twitter. A few people are leaving against their will, and others, like Adam Baldwin, are withdrawing from an increasingly hostile medium. Twitter is indeed about as much fun as trench warfare lately, and the Huns that run it have started using mustard gas to clear the conservative, libertarian, and hilarious foxholes I have enjoyed for years. Now the news is out that Facebook has also been censoring conservative content.

Many have asked: If we leave Twitter or Facebook, where can we go? I’ve got a suggestion: Pinterest.

I suspect many of you who identify as human males will have the same initial reaction to Pinterest that I had when my wife suggested it over a year ago. I thought Pinterest was for hausfraus who wanted to post scrapbooking nonsense and ideas for curtains. Maybe I’m getting soft, but after buying a great wallet on Etsy, I started to give some of these other social sites a chance.

Look again, friends, and listen. Pinterest is like a tranquil lake after the stormy, treacherous seas of Twitter. It’s glorious.

So here we go: just like you’ve come to expect from Buzzfeed The Federalist, an informative listicle that definitely did not take 20 minutes to write. It’s a bunch of stuff I like on Pinterest.

1. Guns

There are a ton of guns on Pinterest. People post links to guns they own, guns they want to own, custom designs, historical and antique guns, and lots of articles about shooting in general. By following guns, and pinning a few guns you like, Pinterest will send you more pictures of similar guns.

Each of these pins links back to the website where the picture was posted, so it even works as a nice way of referencing back to where you saw that gun. It’s like 3×5 notecards for the Internet. Try following just “Antique” and “Pistol” if that’s what you like, or “Concealed” and “Carry” for nice little guns. Ammunition, shooting techniques, and reviews of other shooting related stuff can all be found, organized, and stored easily.

2. Booze

I like craft beer and cocktails, and I like to learn more about those things. As it turns out, there are a bunch of shiftless drinkers on Pinterest who post links to cocktail recopies, new beers, and brands of liquor that may be new to you. Some of the links are to graphics with recipes, notes, and recommendations on barware. If you like rum and not whiskey, you can follow just “rum,” and you are an animal.

3. Clothes

Just when you thought this was drifting down a dark path, I’ll hit you with a little civilization. Like a lot of people who don’t live, eat, and breathe clothes, I can find it difficult to describe what I would like to wear. “Pants? Again?” is a familiar refrain at my house, but Pinterest makes it easy. I can find links to suits, ties, cuff links, spectacles, or shoes and stash them away for future reference. The next time I need to think about a new pair of shoes, I can check back and remind myself of what I thought looked appropriate.

4. Gear

bagI like toys and tools as much as anyone else, and Pinterest makes that appear rational and appropriate for a person in his fortieth year. I can follow “Every Day Carry” or “EDC” for links for watches, knives, pens, wallets, phone cases, as well as a healthy dose of more pistols and holsters. Feel free to refine your searches, topics you “follow,” for your personal needs. If you are looking for stuff for the gym, golf, or ultimate Frisbee, just search and pin a few things you like. Pinterest’s hive-brain algorithms will keep sending you suggestions.

5. Prepper Stuff

Nothing is more old-school, don’t-bother-dad-while-he’s-in-the-garage manly like prepper tips. There is, of course, a fine line between learning how to store some extra water and food in case the power goes out and digging a bunker in your backyard to protect you from the zombies. While the threat of nuclear war with the Russians is lower now than it might have been in the past, the occasional hurricane, riot, or snowstorm is a great reminder that you really should plan for how to feed and protect your family if you need to stay put for a few days or evacuate in a hurry.

You can check the link on something that looks interesting before you save it, just in case it links back to Stormfront or a scam site that is trying to sell you gold to bury. Remember, Pinterest doesn’t really filter the links, it just keeps them organized, and you are getting suggestions based on other people with similar interests, some of whom might be nuts.

6. Slow Cooker Recipes

If there’s anything I love more than a cocktail, it’s piling a bunch of food in a slow cooker, turning it on, and coming back in eight hours to feast on my cleverness. This is where the more domestic origins of Pinterest come in handy. It’s full of food. Slow-cooker stuff was only the beginning. Barbeque and smoker ideas abound, as do grilling ideas, wings, tacos, pizzas, and game recipes.

What do you want to make this weekend when friends are coming over? Make a Pinterest board with dinner ideas, and fill it with things that sound good. Last Christmas, I made mac and cheese from scratch for the first time, and I learned how to do it on Pinterest. You can turn your nose up at me, tough guy, but I’ll be making delicious mac and cheese with green chilies in it.

7. Home Office

I don’t have a huge area in my home that I can devote to the business of life, so I need that space to be efficient. Leave it to Pinterest to find ideas on how to keep your books, files, PC games, important tax documents, bills, and other stuff in order. There’s also sturdy laptop cases, home budget ideas, and other handy tricks. The genius of social media has always been very free-market: Good ideas will be successful, so let other rubes try things out and let you know what works.

8. Organization

closetThis is only partially related to the home office, but good organization wherever you store things— basements, garages, attics, sheds, barns, etc.—is crucial to maximizing the space you have. Americans are spoiled by too much room, and we love insanely large houses. I don’t love large houses. I like a small house in a neighborhood where I can walk to a bar.

Pinterest has a bunch of ideas on shelves, closets, and storage spaces that look sharp, and can keep your living space under control. You can set up specific searches for whatever you need, such as kitchen, guest rooms, kids rooms, or whatever. For cheaper solutions, add the search term “DIY” for “Do it yourself.”

9. Fun Stuff

While I like food, guns, drinks, and efficiency, I’m not all business. Any hobby you may enjoy is well represented by your fellow Pinterestrians, or Pinteresters (depending on which of these terms I just made up that you prefer). I follow chess and card games, but you may prefer some other game, sport, or collectable. I don’t like to pass judgement on how people waste time. I’m on Pinterest, for the love of Pete.

10. Insanity and Weirdness

So far, I have not really delved deeply into the dark underbelly of Pinterest. I can’t be sure that it’s there, but it’s still the Internet, so I’ll bet $3 it’s there.

This brings me to a fair note of caution, however. Pinterest is pretty tame, but you can occasionally find things that might not be ideal for your children. Occasionally I come across a post that makes me think “That young lady should know better than to forget her shirt when she goes to a shooting range,” or “I guess that woman’s shirt got dirty while she was working on her Vespa and it had to be put in the laundry immediately.” You can report images that go too far, but you can also just block things that are not to your taste.

11. Less Politics

There are certainly political posts on Pinterest, but they are very easy to avoid by not following “politics” or a candidate name or an issue name. I really find this useful because Twitter has taught me that I no longer care what anyone thinks about politics.

12. Cars and Bikes

Just like with guns, if you like specific types of cars, motorcycles, scooters, or bicycles, plenty of other people enjoy those things as well. Pin away, and you will be rewarded with other interesting finds from around the endless virtual landscape of the Internet.

Matthew Braun is an intelligence analyst and consultant, and the owner of Panoply Consulting. You can follow him on Twitter @frieherrbraun. He lives with his wife and hilarious son in Alexandria, Virginia.

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