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Column: Pinned down by ideas found on social media


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When it comes to social media, I am surely behind the times. Maybe I’m technologically challenged. Or perhaps I’m just antisocial.

Either way, it’s all so confusing I don’t know whether to tweet, tumble or fall flat on my Facebook.

My suspicion that I might be a bit behind the curve was confirmed when I signed up for Facebook a couple of years ago and one of my friends posted “Welcome to Facebook … now that it’s nearly irrelevant.”

Yeah, well, I’m also the guy who finally got a madras shirt in seventh grade after all my friends had moved on to tennis sweaters.

But no matter how ignorant I am about social media, I go to sleep every night content in the knowledge that at least one person on this planet is equally clueless. And she’s lying right beside me.

However, recently someone introduced my better half to the joys of Pinterest. If I ever learn the identity of the guilty party, they will hear from my attorney.

Brenda described Pinterest to me as a computerized bulletin board where people can “pin” their favorite recipes and photos of craft projects, etc. If you see something you like, she explained, you can “repin” it to one of your own “boards.”

“That’s nice,” I replied.

I was wrong.

On just her second evening browsing Pinterest, she spotted a photo she liked. She attached this photo to an email and sent it to me with the message, “We should do something like this in the basement.”

The photo was of a home library, a cozy space lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It was the kind of room I would probably never leave should I be so lucky as to enter.

I immediately sensed danger. Over the years I’ve learned that when Brenda says, “We should do this,” it usually ends up meaning I should do this.

But sometimes being unhandy comes in handy. I am in no way capable of building floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, especially if you’re picky and want them strong, level and attractive.

I reminded her of this void in my skill set and felt the storm clouds drifting away.

But the next Sunday she found a sale ad in The Republic. A local merchant had bookshelves on sale, with some assembly required.

“That would be a start,” she said. “Let’s just go look at them.”

Oh no. “Let’s just go look at them” is code for “get your toolbox.”

Sure enough, an hour later we were hauling three heavy boxes from the car to the basement. Fortunately, these shelves were so easy to assemble that even I, in all my ineptness, was able to complete the project without cursing.

Soon we were carrying books to the basement. On about my third armload it dawned on me that should we ever move, all these books would have to be carried back upstairs.

By nightfall we had a good start on our home library, with three new shelving units full of books. Though it still needs some work, I’m sure it will be nice when it’s finished.

I’m also sure it will never be mistaken for the home library in the photo.

As if I didn’t have enough to be scared of, now I also live in fear of Pinterest. How long before Brenda spots another photo that prompts a “we should do something like this” email?

My only hope is that it’s a photo of a couple lying down, waiting for the urge to do something to pass. Now there’s a photo I would gladly repin.

Doug Showalter can be reached at 379-5625 or dshowalter@therepublic.com.

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