I Have Wedding Invitations and No Groom

Fair warning, this post is far less about my personal life but more of an introduction into the mind of someone who actually likes Pinterest. This hopes to serve as an educational piece for men (or women) who find this platform to be as confusing as fantasy football is to me.

Pinterest’s mission is to help people discover things they love, and inspire them to go do those things in their daily lives.

Let me break it down for you: Pinterest is a site where you have a number of floating pictures. You click the picture and you can either send it, save it, or pin it. Sending it will allow you to share you amazing material you found with others, saving it will allow you to look back on things you liked, but pinning it allows  you to organize it to your own curated boards. You can follow your friends, other people and businesses and so every time they pin something, you can see it.

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People start “pinning” for a number of different reasons. Some look to start cooking and find recipes online, some look for inspiration for their wedding, and some look for styling tips for work or occasion related outfits. For me I started when I was writing a speech for my first woman’s summit. I wanted to find quotes that related to female empowerment and piece together inspirational words from wise women of the past.

I started finding ones I liked and rather than just writing them down I was able to save them to a board. After I had finished my speech I still enjoyed going back and looking at a number of these empowering quotes. Beneath each of these pictures I started seeing outfits I liked and then recipes I wanted to try. Soon it became a complete guilty pleasure, one that I wasn’t comfortable sharing with my friends as it wasn’t as mainstream as Twitter or Facebook. Pinterest, unfortunately, developed a weird reputation that it was a platform for girls to create fake lives and post things like their “wedding” and stuff. I promised to never be one of those girls, but here I am, 254 pins strong on my own wedding board. While I don’t plan to be married for at least, like, 20 years, why would I care to have a board for my wedding, or for my future dogs, or for themed parties I’ll never throw? The reason why I, like the other 110 million active users, are addicted to Pinterest can be broken down into three main reasons.

1. I am incredible Type A

This is by far the most aesthetically pleasing social media platform. I mean look at it. It is clean, sleek, not much writing, well-taken pictures, limited room for text. Additionally, everything is very organized, I can separate each of the pins I like into neat and organized categories, almost like drawers where I can store my prized pictures for a later date. This idea of creating perfectly curated dream boards is both pleasing to my eye as well as to my mind as everything has a place. Frankly, I sometimes go to Pinterest to relax, it is mindless as I scroll through pretty pictures that bring me both inspiration and happiness. I get lost in the places I could visit or the meals I could indulge in. So having a place where I can save it all, having this digital bookmark, allows me to go back to and revisit what I have saved.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.35.30 PM.png2.  I Follow Businesses

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While I don’t use this site as a source for news, I use it as a newsfeed for fashion. I follow brands I like to see their newest arrivals in order to make quick purchases or save in a wishlist board. Pinterest has actually helped businesses thrive by allowing them to curate their own dream boards and have customers follow them and see what they are pinning too.

3.  I Need Inspiration

649eee893a9e5b485a0cdb17941c9b66.jpgSo while it started with literal quote and speech inspiration, I now use it as a different form of inspiration. Before I go on a trip I go on Pinterest to see the top things I need to do in a city or where to stay. Before I go grocery shopping I look at my food board to see recipes I would like to make for the upcoming week. Before a friend’s birthday, I look at their board to see what they have liked and pinned to determine what to get them. And yes, sometimes I will even pin a pretty wedding venue simply because it looks nice.

Pinterest serves me in many aspects as it feed my many desires that aren’t satisfied by other social media platforms. That said, I understand why Pinterest is dominated by women while Reddit is dominated by Men. Pinterest targets what many women want: organization, structure, and a community that is showing them what they are interested in.That said there has been a growing rate of men on Pinterest, now at over 1/3 of active users. And while I don’t expect to see many men pinning future wedding ideas, I am sure they too would be interested in domino’s wedding registry that I wouldn’t have known about had it not been for Pinterest.

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6 comments

  1. Thanks for a great post. As a non-pinterest user, I always rely on students like you to keep me up on the value you get from it. You did a great job describing the value you find in the platform (combined with a great title!

  2. I’ve had a hot and cold relationship with Pinterest – I’ve gone on binges where I literally will make several boards and times when I delete the app to save space on my phone. I do love Pinterest for the same reasons as you – I’m Type A and love the format of it and the concept behind it. It may be that I simply don’t use it enough, but I don’t feel their analytics are up to par with other social media apps. My directed posts always seem to be not exactly targeted towards me but rather toward any woman in our demographic, so I typically have to search if I really want to find posts that I want to pin or save. Great post to read though, and I agree with Prof Kane – creative title!

  3. Oh dear Alexis, I’m incredibly type A as well and I think you may just triggered my newfound appreciation for Pinterest. Prior to your post, I never really grasped the value of this particular social media platform (I remember my Basic Finance professor was outraged when he saw on the WSJ a “frivolous corporation” like this could have an upcoming IPO), but now I can see why users are so engaged. I had no idea brands had official accounts that users could follow (looks a lot like Instagram actually!) and I never thought to use it as a resource for traveling and gift-giving. Thank you for your post, definitely one of my favourites!

  4. Great post. I, too, use Pinterest as a way to unwind and come up with different places I’d like to travel and different fashion trends I want to follow. I hadn’t considered your point that for an A type personality (I very much fall under this category), it is gratifying to be able to perfectly organize and sort images. Creating collages years ago when I was in middle school with magazine clippings was messy and it’s hard to keep everything neat and orderly with scraps of paper everywhere. Makes sense that creating collages, essentially, online where everything can have it’s own designated place would be much more gratifying!

  5. Wow great post! I used Pinterest for a short time towards the end of high school, but never got as into it as my friends. I definitely thought a lot of the pictures were cool, but for some reason I never really caught on to becoming a daily user. But after reading your article, it definitely re-sparked interest for me just from your explanations and the three concepts that you broke your analysis down into. Definitely a great discussion about a social media platform that does not get a lot of attention.

  6. I thought the title of this post was really funny! I know absolutely nothing about Pinterest so thank you for informing me on the many different things you can do on this social media site. Now that I’m enlightened I dont think I’ll be joining anytime soon since I cant cook, i have terrrible fashion sense, and I’m not getting married for 20 years either. I really liked your comparison as to why Pinterest is dominated by women, and reddit by men. It makes complete sense to me.

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