A teenage girl fires up her laptop. Instead of going on Facebook, MySpace, or even Twitter, she decides to open up Pinterest. She laughs at a picture of of a bowl of spaghetti shared by her best friend. She takes a second look at a photo of Orange Leaf ice cream. She spends hours browsing through snapshots of dresses she will most likely never own. It seems like a gigantic waste of time, doesn’t it? Well, that’s precisely what it is.
Pinterest. The word alone is a goofy pun, already driving the chichi website into the obscurity of a temporary fad. And then there is the website itself. The website revolves an amalgam of random pictures which users “tag” in order to share their interests. Pinterest’s official mission statement, according to their website, is:
“[T]o connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.”
Isn’t this what Facebook already does? Isn’t this what Twitter already does? Isn’t this what, I don’t know, conversation already does? My point is that Pinterest is a useless, piece-of-junk website that serves no better purpose than to clog up my Facebook feed and my friends’ minds. What Pinterest really should be called is, “Twitter for illiterate people”.
This isn’t just hateful rant either. Pinterest’s premise is extremely faulty. Their goal is to connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting. But the deal is, how does that even work? How does me looking a a bowl of spaghetti connect me with anyone else in the world? And even assuming this somehow does increase my success and social interaction, why does that even matter? Do I care that some random person out of the seven billion in this world likes spaghetti, just like I do? No, I couldn’t care less.
What I will concede to Pinterest is its individual convenience. Say I’m allergic to gluten. Pinterest, in this case, is a competent tool for locating gluten-free food recipes. Or imagine that I am an adolescent female horrendously obsessed with fashion. Could wasting away hours of my life looking at pictures of dresses on Pinterest increase my personal happiness? Certainly it could. To keep it simple, Pinterest can be a very utile thing – just not the thing it’s meant to be.