I have had a Pinterest for quite some time so my boards are all pretty detailed. I have boards on Pinterest from the books I want to read, or have read, to the cars I would love to drive someday. It was interesting because after analyzing the readings from Wilson & Yochim and Matcher, the reasons for why I find Pinterest so entertaining and unique were blatantly made known to me. As a college student, money is tight so I am really fond of the DIY section on Pinterest. Not only do I find that the items under that category are cheap, but they are also chic and nifty. However, Emily Matchar’s article, Homeward Bound, explains the reasons as to why I am drawn to this type of social media website for this particular section. With this being said, I go to Pinterest as a place where I can take a break from my hectic days and look at new posts and items that are visually stimulating. Matchar argues that because of the anxiety-driven culture that we are currently living in, it is very expected of us to resort to domesticity in search of a relaxing and easy way to do things in life. Matchar provided reasons as to why we are being driven to this lifestyle of domesticity and these reasons are all very valid and intellectually stimulating. While going through Pinterest it finally made sense to me as to why there are categories like ‘quotes’ and ‘destinations;’ These categories serve as escapes from our everyday hectic lives.
Pinterest to me though, made me realize after taking an oppositional point of view when reviewing my boards that my dream world is planned out on it. My dream world on Pinterest, as it turns out, is not realistic and it is very superficial and materialistic; all things that I would not want to consume my actual life. I thought that Wilson and Yochim touched on this subject really well. One line in the article that really stuck out to me was, “Pinterest is littered with happy objects” (Wilson and Yochim, 2013). This statement, in my opinion, is what defines Pinterest in the first place. These happy objects allow us to possess a promise of happiness at some point in our lives, which is also what Wilson and Yochim explain in their article. I go on Pinterest to look for ‘happy’ objects and to pin items that will make me happy if I have the opportunity to access them one day. It is also amazing, after I was reviewing my boards, how much consumerism also plays a huge role in Pinterest and the idea that you can ‘buy your happiness’ to make everything better. I, myself, have fallen as prey to this tactic. If I am on Pinterest after having a long day and I see a cute necklace that is in my price range, I will click on it and buy it in the hopes that it will make me feel better and happier. It is also amazing how Pinterest is not diversified at all either. Wilson and Yochim also argued that the whole website for the most part is from a social network of pinners who are white, upper to middle class women. When going through my boards and the newsfeed sections under each category, diversity is very rare. I realize that Pinterest is a nice site to get ideas off of, but after looking at it through a different lens, it is amazing how domesticity is making a comeback and people are defining their true ‘happiness.’
Matchar, Emily (2013). Homeward Bound.
Wilson, J. & Yochim, E (2013). Pinning happiness: Affect, social media, and women’s work.