What is so Pinteresting?
// Posted by Molly on 01/19/2012 (11:19 AM)
A website called Pinterest (a combination of the words “pin” and “interest”) was created in 2009 and was listed in Time magazine’s “50 best websites of 2011” in August 2011. (The article can be found here.) I discovered the website after I heard many of my friends rave about how addicting it was. I found it both odd and alarming when my friends told me they often caught themselves wanting to stay home and “pin things” rather than socialize in real life. When I tried to create a Pinterest account I learned that the website required an invitation to join, a feature that I still don’t quite understand. I sent my friend a text message saying “Send me a pinterest invite,” and five minutes later I was pinning and repinning things on the website. For anyone who has never heard of Pinterest, I found a youtube tutorial here:
I had no idea how to categorize Pinterest, so I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that it is “a vision board-styled social photo sharing website.” In my opinion, Pinterest’s popularity is due to its broad description. Wikipedia states, “The mission statement of Pinterest is to connect everyone in the world through shared tastes and the “things” they find interesting.” People can “pin” absolutely anything they want. For example, a 27-year-old woman who I know from my hometown is a newlywed and has a one-year-old daughter. She has boards titled, “DIY Crafts,” “Wedding,” “Kid Things,” and “Recipes.” On the other hand, my 18-year-old sister’s friends have board titles such as “Dream House,” “Fun Quotes,” “Diamonds,” (A board filled with pictures of diamond rings) “Man Candy,” (celebrities and male models) and my personal favorite “Skinny Betch,” (pictures of models, motivational quotes about exercise, and workout outfits) Though it is possible to organize one’s life through pinterest, it is also possible that one’s time may be better spent actually going to the gym rather than pinning about it.
I looked through a few screenshots of Pinterest and found this one to give everyone a better idea of how it looks and how it is organized.
While exploring Pinterest and its reviews, I was reminded of Mark Hanson’s theory that people can both produce and consume material on the Internet. He says, “The explosion of user-generated digital “content” has refocused the function of computational media from storage to production.” In the past, the Internet was used to store information and do tasks that a person may not want to do on their own. Today, websites such as Pinterest allow all members to share inspirational “things” in hopes that others will enjoy them. Photos that link to family recipes, tips on home decorating or ideas for crafts spread the emotional aspect of these activities as they become popular on Pinterest. This spreading of photos and websites that contain real feelings and emotions allow people to share whatever they are feeling with the world. Does this spreading of emotional experiences cheapen the real thing? Would you feel comfortable sharing a family recipe or story on Pinterest that was passed through generations? Could websites such as Pinterest be used in place of social experiences, for example: sharing an interesting magazine article with a friend?