The Interest in Pinterest: A Millennial’s Perspective
- February 23rd, 2012
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Today’s post comes to us from Laura, a Youth Advisory Board member who is active on Pinterest and eager to share her thoughts about why the social network has quickly taken off, especially among Millennials. She uses the site for a variety of purposes, but mostly to find and share inspiration, as do her friends. To her, it’s a more positive platform for sharing content online than many other social networks. She explains how and why it succeeds, quickly becoming the fastest growing social site ever…
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The Interest in Pinterest From A Millennial’s Perspective
I was only recently introduced to the magic of Pinterest last month when my roommate proposed we look up some easy, effective workouts to do in our room. She said she would look at what was new on Pinterest, assuming I knew what she was talking about. I misheard her at first and asked what is Interest? She gave me one of those “do you live under a rock” looks and explained to me that no, the site’s name is Pinterest, as people “pin” such things as pictures, recipes, DIY projects, outfit looks, workout suggestions, affirmations, wedding ideas, home furnishings, and fast facts to name a few, onto a bulletin board-like space where users can browse, like, comment, and share what they see.
Though a little overwhelming at first, after a few scrolls one can see how quickly addicting and wonderful Pinterest is. Bianca Bosker wrote an article for the Huffington Post last week that I think sums up Pinterest’s best quality, which also perhaps explains its immense growth in popularity. Bosker’s point: Pinterest is all about sharing something great, rather than promoting oneself as great. Other than the occasional lauding for a good post, there really isn’t any self-absorbed gain to Pinterest.
After spending time on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is a nice break from the “me-ness” of classic social media sites, which I think everyone can admit gets old (and sometimes depressing) after a while. Pinterest is just the opposite: I think one can only get a boost from perusing the pins because everything on the site is positive, whether it’s in an obvious form like an affirmation (“Never compare your journey with someone else’s. Your journey is YOUR journey not a competition”), or a cool suggestion on how to make a rainbow rose flower arrangement.
I personally am always in a better mood after scrolling through the site and looking at all the beautiful eye candy. I generally leave Pinterest having learned an interesting fun fact (giraffes can’t cough), finding a new website to check out (Barbie Shoes), and reading a quote that empowers me to be a superwoman (“Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says…‘Oh crap, she’s up!’”). These are the types of things I can use productively in my everyday life, as opposed to either shallow self-aggrandizement or self-pity that doesn’t take me very far in terms of health or happiness.
My friends are on Pinterest for similar reasons. One of my friends loves to look at wedding decorations, dresses, workout tips, affirmations, food, and creative ideas. When I asked her why she chooses to spend time on Pinterest in particular, she told me “It’s a fun and uplifting form of a blog site.” I think most users would agree. In keeping with the earlier hypothesis, my friend tells me she surfs Pinterest when she’s bored of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and seeking salvation from the self-involved. Another friend enjoys looking at outfit suggestions and pictures of vacation spots for inspiration and relaxation. Where else can someone find all of these great ideas and images in one place in this way? It really should be no surprise the site has become so popular.
The only group who doesn’t seem to be interested in Pinterest is straight men. One of my guy friends tells me he thinks the site is “girly” and all about fashion, and prefers to stick with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Another hasn’t even heard of Pinterest, which I find a little surprising, but perhaps proves the point that it is a mostly female driven site. It’s true though that most of the site’s content has a distinctively female flair, pinned and promoted by a largely female audience, with only a few images or ideas relevant to men or couples.
With its unique non-selfish angle, I think Pinterest will continue to grow at a rapid rate, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some similar sites appear soon [Ed. Note: There are already a few sites that are designed for social curation, like Pinterest]. After all, Pinterest is only two years old (but it’s mostly caught on recently), so a lot can happen. Just look at Facebook!
Laura is a freshman at NYU planning on studying Art History. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Laura is loving the city and is constantly pursuing her ideal “Sex and the City” lifestyle of shoes, girls nights with her sorority, visits to museums, attending Broadway shows (she recently met Miranda), eating exotic meals…and shoes. Though she’s partial to topics on fashion and art, Laura always has an opinion and wants it to be heard. She wants to make a difference in the world through her writing, volunteering, and hopefully curatorial work, so she hopes her readers come away with a little something!