You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get from looking at old photo albums? That excitement you feel when you flip through a magazine or book full of pictures of pretty, quirky, disturbing or even frightening images? How about that slightly-overwhelmed anticipation that comes from entering a store full of things you love, even if you’re just window-shopping?
That, in three gushing sentences, is how I feel about Pinterest.
I’ve never been a big fan of social networking sites (I blog without a drop of irony). I took one look at Myspace — remember Myspace, anyone? — and felt queasy. I more or less quit Facebook because, frankly, I’m not interested in the minutae of anyone’s life, including those that I love. And don’t even get me started on Twitter.
But Pinterest is… different. While Pinterest is ostensibly a social network, it’s one that requires very little actual interaction. Instead of a barrage of tweets about what someone’s watching on TV or status updates letting you know that so-and-so is habing lunch and the fajitas are great, Pinterest is purely images (with a few slogans thrown in). The difference between Facebook or Twitter and Pinterest is half-baked ideas versus the ideal.
You don’t get someone’s shrill political opinions on Pinterest. Rather, you get images of their favorite movie star or the sofa they’d love to have. No one takes pictures of their dinner and posts it to Pinterest — rather, you get 101 recipes that use Nutella. There’s no play-by-play of what so-and-so’s kids/team/TV show is doing. Instead, there are pictures of the best playroom/best sports picture/TV still. Pinterest is the aspirational, rather than the daily dregs.
But that’s not even why I love Pinterest. As much as I do adore seeing friends and strangers’ favorite recipes, cute animal pictures, decorating ideas, style inspirations and so on, what I really like is revisiting my own pins. As I troll the interwebs aand see things that I love, whether it’s books, old movie stills, beautifully decorated rooms, cats, vintage illustrations, toys from my childhood, my virtual boyfriends and so forth, I pin these images to my Pinterest boards. Pinterest is, for me, a scrapbook, a place I can paste the things that I love and visit them again and again and again.
Maybe in a year or so I’ll be over Pinterest the way I am Facebook and Twitter, but I doubt it. It’s hard to get tired of seeing all the little things that make you happy. No matter what sort of day I’m having, I can rely on Pinterest for a few pleasant moments spent with the odds and ends that always make me smile.