CULTURE | Kaley Payne
My ticket into trend land is that I ‘discovered’ Pinterest well before the current media blitz. I’ve been pinning for almost a year. And what a pin-derful year it has been.
To be honest, it could be classed as just another time sink. Another social opportunity to display personality and interest to the world at large. Another addictive craze to add to the other modern-day online addiction afflictions. Another application to try to explain to sceptics; how their lives will never be the same once they start pinning.
If you’re not up with the latest Pinterest craze, never fear. It inspires gushy proclamations of eternal love from all those curious enough to pin their first image.
Essentially, Pinterest is an online pin board. Individuals can create boards and pin images from around the web that correlate to their own interests. Your pins are combined with those of other pinners who share your interests, and you can choose to receive the image feeds of friends or brands too. It’s a mecca for artsy-types, interior and fashion designers, or those who simply appreciate swimming in the cleverness, craftiness, ‘creative-ness’ of others.
Pinterest is an invitation only site. You can sign up to receive an invite, though there is a waiting period. But chances are, for every 5 people you meet, atleast one is already using Pinterest already and can send you an invitation so you can start pinning sooner.
I have pin boards that collect the title image of my favourite movies, craft ideas I’ll never get around to trying, places I’d like to go when I make my first million, recipes to try when it’s proven that sugar is, in fact, good for you. I have a mood board of ‘happy’ images, full of little lambs, panda bears on slippery dips, Disney characters pulling funny faces, gingerbread houses, muppet babies and tiara-ed rubber duckies (I’m not exaggerating – it’s impossible to keep a frown once you’ve perused those gems). If you feel inclined, you can look at my boards here: http://pinterest.com/kaleypayne/
Admittedly, my use of Pinterest – pinning cool stuff all day – is elementary and haphazard at best. You can be much more specific – bookmark tutorials on any subject, plan a wedding, decorate a house room-by-room.
But perhaps the true beauty of Pinterest is those moments when you stumble across a community of pinners who pin images that hit an inner chord. Bible passages, biblical wisdom, continuous reminders of Jesus’ love could easily be passed over as fluffy, tokenistic passages that make a person go ‘shucks, isn’t that nice’, but they shine as beacons amongst a sea of growing consumerism and want masquerading as need.
But Pinterest doesn’t have to be just about creating a birthday list of items you can’t live without. It’s an opportunity to capture personality in a way that other social media applications have yet to tap into. It provides insight into what truly inspires us. Images and words that lift our moods, comfort our souls. Pinterest CEO and co-founder, Ben Silbermann, said in an interview today “what you collect says something about who you are”. He’s provided an opportunity to create communities around the things that inspire you.
It’s about sharing and recommending, not just boasting about the things you’re doing or the places you’ve been, as is so often the staple of other social media.
So, what does it look like to be a Christian ‘pinner’? That’s an open question. But sharing what inspires us – Jesus – is another opportunity to demonstrate a different way of being. To flag (or pin!) our faith in the open. And to do it with beautiful images that may capture the attention of those who don’t yet know what it is to be Jesus-inspired.