I never thought the day would come, but I have finally given in to the latest social media fad, Pinterest. I’ll admit, I was more than skeptical when my friend first explained to me the concept behind the website. I considered it borderline pathetic that as a society we could no longer find the time to express our opinions using words. A social networking platform that consists solely of random images posted, or “pinned,” on a user’s profile? I remember thinking to myself, “here we go… yet another contribution to the death of writing and intelligent communication.” I thought Twitter was bad enough by limiting people’s opinions to 140 characters—Pinterest just seemed to take this simplification of thought one step further.
Well ladies and gentleman, I stand corrected. After spending the past hour and twenty minutes pinning everything from decadent recipes and fashion trends to workout ideas and inspirational quotes, I can officially declare myself a Pinterest addict. Pinterest has opened my eyes to a whole new method of exploring the web. Not only does it allow me to assemble all of the links, websites, and media that I find interesting into one location, but it also enables me to effortlessly share them with my “followers.” With just one click, I can recommend the latest Hunger Games book to a friend, or show my mom exactly which pair of Tory Burch flats I’m obsessing over.
As a self-declared Pinterest-convert, I now see its value. Pinterest is not diminishing the art of language; it is simply changing the way we communicate. By examining others’ “pins,” you can easily determine their current attitude and thoughts. My friends can always tell I’ve had a bad day if my boards are filled with cynical quotes and diabetes-inducing cupcake recipes. Pinterest offers an innovative platform for us to express our opinions in a more creative, yet subtle, way.
I would even dare to say that Pinterest is more worthwhile than Facebook. I mean, think about it. Would you rather read your brokenhearted friend’s sappy Facebook status or see all of the epic recipes she plans to make while in post-breakup depression? I know I, personally, feel much more productive exploring do-it-yourself home improvement ideas on Pinterest than I do when I am awkwardly stalking Facebook photos from an acquaintance’s birthday party.
Pinterest has reminded me of the beauty in simplicity, which is often forgotten by students like myself. In the context of research papers and academic writing, I frequently catch myself over-complicating my opinions in an attempt to sound more credible. I lose sight of the fact that, most of the time, my argument would be more convincing if presented concisely.
When I prejudged Pinterest as overly simplistic, I was forgetting one of the cardinal rules of writing—clarity. Not only has Pinterest made my jeans fight a bit tighter, but it has reminded me that communication does not need to be complex to be considered intelligent; in actuality, it is much more difficult to be concise than it is to be wordy.
If you are still skeptical, check out some of my favorite pins…I think the cookie dough filled cookie cups may change your mind.