Pinterest: a superior form of social media


Eleanor Ervine

On the long car ride home from a tennis match, Sr. Kamryn Dumas uses her phone to kill time. She opens Instagram and is bombarded with photos from the lives of people she knows and people she only knows of. Scrolling becomes monotonous as pictures seem to imitate each other and current, short-lived, fads run rampant across the screen. She is tired of the same content, the ever-increasing ads, and the constant pining for attention by fellow social media users. In need of some less taxing media, she opens Pinterest and is immediately refreshed. 

   Recently, Dumas has been using Pinterest to find inspiration for new ways to achieve personal growth and self betterment. She enjoys looking for “new recipes, workouts, and journal prompts.” . “Pinterest omits the worst of social media, but keeps the best. It allows users to consume and output creativity without the pressure of likes or views. It’s more of a community and less of a status pyramid,” Dumas said. 

   Social media often gets a bad wrap in today’s society for its link to negative effects on mental health. Well known social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are carefully engineered for the sole purpose of keeping users hooked. We scroll until our eyes burn and our brains are overstimulated with a miscellany of unsolicited content. Teens and young adults of Gen-Z seem to sympathize with each other over our collective succumbing to the tech industry and its economic motives. Countless psychological studies have shown significant connections between social media use and anxiety and depression. We know this. It’s true, most forms of social media are easy to overuse and, consequently, very mentally draining. Pinterest is different. 

   Similar to other social media platforms, Pinterest is largely visual. Yet, unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest does not display the statistics of a post (i.e. likes, views, comments, saves). Without the numbers, there is no competitive atmosphere on the platform. Pinterest users are not concerned about the public appeal of their content because Pinterest is catered to the individual. “I only use Pinterest for me and I don’t pay attention to how many followers I have or anything along those lines. It’s really easy and fun to use,” said Sr. McKenzy Hogan.

   Pinterest accurately describes itself as a “visual discovery engine.” The majority of Pinterest users do not post their own content on the platform. Instead, users make “boards” of photos on Pinterest that appeal to them. Creating and organizing photos into different boards can be a very satisfying and creative way for Pinterest users to unwind. Sr. Kira Guerrin uses Pinterest for fashion inspiration, recipes, and “silly memes.” 

   “My most interesting pinterest board is probably my ‘fits!’ board. I have two separate sections within it. One of them titled, ‘cute’ filled with outfits and clothes I would actually wear, and the other section titled ‘adorable!’ filled with really goofy outfits like shirts that say ‘I think about worms every single day.’ or hats that say, in a very ominous font, ‘I know the muffin man’,” said Guerrin. 

   Since it launched in 2010, Pinterest has fostered a remarkably creative community. It has become a positive platform that is less “social” and more “media” based. Pinterest users love the app because it allows them to  maintain a sense of individuality in the media they consume and save. Pinterest’s algorithm works incredibly quickly to update users’ feed to accurately align with their current interests. No matter what interests you, Pinterest will provide you with media that aligns with what you like. Ideas are everywhere and there is so much inspiration to be harnessed on the platform. 

   “On Pinterest there’s no concern about other people’s opinions, it’s more about creativity. I think it’s kind of a happy place,” said Sr. Jenna Dirkse.