I'm nominating this phrase as one of my most loathed.

I see it frequently these days in reference to Pinterest projects. Someone will make something intricate and time-consuming and perhaps of minimal use (say, cupcakes tricked out like Christmas ornaments, complete with edible metallic paint) and someone else posts it to FB or somewhere to say "oooh, pretty!", and some nasty person will have to point out that whoever made that thing has "too much time".

Peeve 1: it's generally in reference to made things. Apparently, it's fine to buy all the delicate, intricate things one might want, but if one is intrigued by the puzzle or process of something, and wishes to try it for oneself, that's a waste of time.

Peeve 2: It totally fails my "compared to what, exactly?" test. Whenever people make sweeping judgements I try to be precise about what the standard of measurement is that they're judging against. Now sure, if we're holding up Albert Schweitzer as our measuring stick, yes, perhaps beading a complicated design onto the full surface of a ballgown by hand with a very small needle and a million glass crystals is not as constructive as vaccinating an entire nation of small children.

But I don't think that's what the naysayers are up to. They're filling their oh-so-valuable time with all sorts of things themselves: hours and hours of shopping, playing videogames, hanging with friends, watching tv, creating judgmental macros to update to Facebook, but none of that seems to them to be "too much time on their hands".

Yes, I'm defensive. I'm crafter myself, and I've personally spent tons of time on things that many shrug off as "wasted". And I'm a proponent of art and images and handmade things in so many different forms. And the times that I've encountered this sentiment in person have been rather puzzling. I usually hear it when I am knitting in public places. "I'd love to do something like that, but I don't have enough time," people tell me all the time, whenever they see me knitting. Which is particularly odd, because always when I'm knitting in public, I'm either waiting in a waiting room or sitting on public transportation. I always wonder what time the speaker imagines I have that they don't also have? We're waiting together. The plane will arrive at our destination at exactly the same time for both of us, but only one of us will end the ride with a new scarf.

Let's face it, there's only so much time in the week that a person can spend on work. The rest of it is going to be filled somehow. I hope people choose to fill it with things that make them feel satisfied and contented, however that happens for them. But I am grateful that the world is filled with beautiful things, each contributed by people who felt beauty alone was an endeavor worthy of their precious time.

From: [identity profile] kimatha.livejournal.com

That is just as irritating as people telling you to SMILE!

The only people who have too much time on their hands are people who complain that they're bored.

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

Well, the SMILE thing is extra irritating because it's usually a gendered thing. Nobody tells men to smile. But it's definitely true about boredom. I can't even remember the last time I was bored, since if I have a sock in my handbag, any delay is an opportunity for MORE KNITTING.

From: [identity profile] degeneratemite.livejournal.com

I have to admit that I'm guilty of thinking WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?! when I'm browsing Pintrest. Seriously, though, some of the crafts scream Bored Housewife. "I spent 6 hours making intricate little labels for every Mason jar in my kitchen!" Okay, awesome, except Mason jars are CLEAR and you can clearly see that there are peanuts inside the one you just labeled. I never say anything to the Pinners and I would never say anything to someone I say crafting in person (I get similarly annoyed when I'm reading my Kindle and someone randomly insists that I must have lots of time because who has time for reading?!), but it's a Pintrest pet peeve of mine. It's like everyone on there is competing for Home & Gardens Housewife of the Year or something. But I guess if making intricate labels and painting a tree on the dining room wall with pictures of her kids on the branches makes that Bored Housewife happy, then it's fine.

But I can't help it. I'm all for people making beautiful things and being creative, but sometimes on Pintrest, all I can think is:

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

Yeah, but for every person who makes Mason jar labels, 4,000 pin the picture of it on the internet. Who's the boring one, already?

From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com

Interesting thought. Mostly I hear the "too much time" complaint from people who are, say, in med school. (Veterinary school in my case.) They genuinely don't have a ton of free time, for a while, and that while can seem pretty long when you're a few years in. In these cases, the gripe is really about that, not about whatever craft the random Internet person has produced. I'm OK with that kind of usage, I guess.

I have a slightly-related mental reflex to the phrase "I don't have the time for ___________". Immediate response from my brain: every one of us gets 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. Nobody gets any more or less than that. (We can be richer or poorer in money, and it's true that money can get some chores done and "free up" a bit of time, but even a billionaire has to choose what fits into twenty-four hours and what won't.) We all set our own individual priorities. I'm trying to be honest with myself when I don't "have" the time: I don't CHOOSE TO TAKE the time to do _______. That way I can recognize what I'm happier doing. :)

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

Exactly. I often think the same response: we all get exactly the same amount of time--we just choose to use it differently.

I mean, really: who the hell has time for vet school? ;)

From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com

Ha! Too true. I manage to take multiple sets of bottle-baby kittens per semester, and then I pet other students' dogs and say something about how I "don't have the time" to raise and train my own dog effectively. Sure I don't -- as long as I keep choosing to use that time to bottle-feed kittens (and, y'know, study and go to class) instead!

From: [identity profile] aumtattoo.livejournal.com

It's only 'too much time' when the project is of no interest to the beholder. No matter how silly or useless a project might be to someone else, it obviously is important to the person making it.

My personal beef with Pinterest is that it seems to bring out the glorification of consumerism in so many people. All the waste I see in tips for busy moms, or outrageous party/holiday decorations and the like makes me feel ill. How cheaply one can buy crap and turn it into something "pretty" is a big theme. I never seem to see pins that promote responsible use and reuse of our own resources. I'm sure they are out there, but the 1000 uses for ziplock bags is much more popular.

People half a world away live in abject poverty and make the crap that one can buy at the dollar store. But hey, if I can spray it with metallic paint or Mod Podge it,that's ok!

Oops, sorry for the rant

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

Ha ha--rant away. There are eco and recycling boards--I'm tapped into some of those. But a rl friend pointed out that my personal Pinterest world is very different from the norm, as I've curated a feed of mainly feminist, body-positive, alternative DIY and art stuff. So: it is whatever you make of it.

As a business person, I also wonder about the "glorification of consumerism" standpoint. All the retail research shows that while Pinterest is great at driving up hits to your site, those hits translate to purchases at a far smaller rate than facebook links or direct ads. It's a huge audience, but it's a non-buying audience. I wonder, namely, if it isn't partially an alternative to shopping, supported by our reduced economy. People can no longer afford to buy all the stuff they want, but social media provides us with ways to placate our shopping impulses for free, while still using fashion and home decor and our presumed good taste as "signaling" to others.


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