Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Pinterest as the only outward-focused social network
Back in March I wrote about Pinterest, and how I believe it gives people the illusion that they’re creating something without the effort of actually doing the hard work. Now Clive Thompson makes a strong argument In Defense of Pinterest. He talks about the power of images to communicate emotion, and the one big way Pinterest is different from other social networks:
Indeed, part of the value of Pinterest is that it brings you out of yourself and into the world of things. As the Huffington Post writer Bianca Bosker argued, Facebook and Twitter are inwardly focused (“Look at me!”) while Pinterest is outwardly focused (“Look at this!”). It’s the world as seen through not your eyes but your imagination. “In such a self-obsessed society, this is a place where people are focusing attention on something other than themselves,” says Courtney Brennan, an avid Pinterest user.
These opposite sides of the argument aren’t mutually exclusive, of course. The critique that Pinterest is for people who “will do anything to avoid having to read” remains, but the examples cited by Clive convinced me that there is a great deal of value on the site — if you know where to look.