Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Keep scrolling, I am Pinterested!

About five months ago, as I was finishing lab work and settling into manuscript writing, I started feeling really old. It had been a while since I had tried to "keep up" with the times. For example, I did not know what Instragram was and why everyone on my newsfeed used it. Plus, I found one grey hair comfortably hidden away under my side fringe. So in retaliation to all these panic attacks, I decided to find out what Pinterest and Instragram were. Two weeks into it and I was extremely Pinterested.

In the beginning, I was sure that Pinterest was going to be another Twitter for me. I have not been able to get Twitter. I tried to study how others use it but I still prefer Facebook. Over time, I accepted that I am not a Twitter person. When I first read about Pinterest, the description "time waster" stayed with me. Three weeks into getting a Pinterest account, I could see how it lives up to that nickname.  What I really like about Pinterest is that it is all about images. Originally, it was a hit among fashion followers. Big clothes and shoe brands have a "pin it" option if you want to share your find with friends and followers. It pins the image of the merchandise you liked on your board, which brings me to the point where I should tell you how this works.

You can create boards on your page (similar to a story board, which is a common illustration technique used in the fashion industry). You can pin various images on your board and you can organize your boards according to their utility. For example, you could have a dedicated 'recipe' board or a 'quotes' board. You can also use your creativity and make boards on a specific theme that reflect your taste. If you click away, the pins lead you to the original source of the image and this is precisely what makes it a big time waster (and a money waster too if it leads you to shoes). No wonder around 80% of its user base is female. :)

Some users desribe the Pinterest experience similar to that of leafing through a magazine. And perhaps that is also why it is so popular with the girls. Maybe, we associate it with the time we spend getting our nails done or getting a foot massage, as we browse through the latest gossip. But it is not just that. It is relaxing also because it is an entirely visual experience. It doesn't involve the opinionated Facebook and Twitter chatter. It does not involve direct interaction with other users. It gives you the opportunity to browse and escape in what grabs your attention.

It also gives you an insight into what interests people who are not like you. For example, even though I have sufficiently long hair, I had not thought about braids until I saw a board dedicated to, yes, braids! You can also see very inspiring boards dedicated to various causes. Right now, I am back home in India, taking a  break before I decide what to do next. My day goes by effortlessly, managing the diet food I need for my weight loss program, watching NatGeo and Comedy Central on T.V., spending an hour or so browsing through pins, reading a book, and spending my evenings with friends. I should write this down now because some day in the near future I am going to be jealous of this past me. :)


Anonymous said...

I looked through intrest briefly and made a decision to let go of that considering my nature to get addicted to things very quickly.

Your daily routine these days certainly is making me green with envy. Enjoy while it lasts.

grandma said...

Sorry one more Dhanashree commenting here...

I have been dreaming of doing exactly what you are doing after I finish my PhD and come back to Pune....I did submit my thesis pan hatticha sheput rahilay.....

I have got inspired and refreshed mind to finish my work ...after reading your post (actually the last part of the post)



Saee Keskar said...

Glad I could help. :)
Good luck with your thesis!