Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital parenting, parents and technology, social media

Pinterest: A Digital Passport to the World of Images

If you are the parent of a 21st Century digital kid, and you want to try something new in the turbulent, always-changing social media world, you might explore Pinterest —  a social media site that helps people accomplish an old activity in a new and better way.

Visit Pinterest!

In the “olden days” people spent time looking through magazines and catalogs, identifying images such as the best-looking clothes, interesting plants, comfortable shoes, or pictures with ideas for an upcoming home construction project. An individual cut out the image and put it into a folder (or a pile). I used to have folders filled with images on all sorts of topics, waiting for me to consult, and I used them from time-to-time. Now Pinterest makes this process digital.

Pinterest, a social media sharing site, allows users to collect and store digitized images from all over the web, along with the image links, and it offers a way organize the pictures into digital folders — Pinterest calls them boards. When a person searches for and finds a useful image, it’s pinned along with its web link into a board’s collection. An individual can also discover, collect, and pin web images from outside of Pinterest.           

Users sign up and set up their own topical boards, decide whether to make them public or secret, and then begin to collect images. A person might have a board for recipes, for furniture ideas, tools, vacations, and so forth. Public boards, unless there is a need for privacy, are better, because it’s fun to share.

My pinterest boards
A few of my boards

Pinterest sharing opportunities are awesome. Anyone can see, choose, and pin from the public boards of others. In essence, a person’s image collecting is supplemented by the collections of others and vice-versa. Pinterest also analyzes the pinned images and suggests others that might be useful to add to a person’s boards. The suggestion algorithm works really well, though some people worry about privacy. (Some of the resources at the end of this post address privacy issues.) Also, an individual can follow a board that contains lots of useful pins.

Let’s say I am looking for pictures to help me organize my herb garden, I can search for and find the pictures that I like and also look at similar collections of other people, pinning anything interesting to that I find my boards. My image access, which used to be limited to the magazines and catalogs that arrived at my house (or perhaps at the doctor or dentist), is significantly expanded. I also learn that lots of other people are interested in the same topic and their discoveries are my discoveries, and I can follow like-minded herb gardeners.

So the next time you are in an information-finding phase, considering a purchase or a vacation or the perfect present, set up a board on the topic and see how easy it is to collect visual information linked links to websites. You might even impress your digital kid.

Oh, and all those folders with images that I had cut or torn out of magazines? Recently I looked through them and threw almost everything away.

Check out my Pinterest boards.

Read More About Pinterest

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