I suddenly realized I’m not a thirty-something woman from the midwest.
I first heard about Pinterest only a few weeks ago. Apparently it’s the latest fad in social media. But what the hell is it? I wondered. I went to the site and saw a massive array of gorgeous photos of stuff that looked a bit too upper-class for my taste.
“It’s a pinboard!” I was told. Now, pinboard was a brand new word to me. Yes, I’m 40, and I got all this way without ever hearing about pinboards. Now here’s Pinterest, supposed to be this big public ‘pinboard’, and not only was I totally in the dark about the site, but the idea it was based on.
I asked my wife. “You know, it’s a board you pin stuff to, like the one in the kitchen,” she said. She meant the corkboard where we stuck calendars and notices from the public school.
But a pinboard is apparently not a thing; It’s a concept. Maybe like a scrapbook? I wondered. “That’s where you put pictures and souvenirs,” she said. “Of stuff you’ve done.”
So she didn’t know either. Neither did the next several people I asked. It was dawning on me that we here on the east coast may have no idea what a pinboard, the very concept that Pinterest is based on, actually is.
Maybe it’s a class thing? You just have to be in a certain income bracket? Or maybe it’s an age thing? Or a taste thing? A regional thing?
Anyway, a pinboard is a place where you put up pictures of stuff you really want. The idea is that if you affirm your desires every day, they will come true.
Basically, to even know what a pinboard is, you have to watch Oprah or Martha Stewart (Actually, being from the east coast, I wonder if Martha even knew). To have ever used a pinboard, you have to be a thirty-something woman from the midwest. Maybe they do these in the South, too, I don’t know.
What I do know is: TO REALLY BE A HUGE SOCIAL MEDIA SENSATION FOR THE LONG TERM, YOU HAVE TO APPEAL TO CYNICAL PEOPLE WITH DARK SENSES OF HUMOR AND LITTLE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
And that’s what’s wrong with Pinterest. To be a fan, you have to be a person who believes, really BELIEVES that dreams can come true if you just pin them to a wall somewhere and share them.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but in my experience, the best way to assure that something will never happen is to want it really bad. The last thing I ever want to do is tell people about my hopes and dreams, so I can be mocked years later after they never happened. “Still have the picture of that sailboat, Tom? Heh heh.”
So my Pinterest site is full of photos of stuff I’ve done, and things I already have, as well as some really ham-handed attempts at inspirational messages. I suck at that. I’m basically using it as a scoreboard, not a pinboard. This is why I didn’t get it at first. This is also why my pictures are terrible compared to the gorgeous cover shots offered by merchants for thirty-something Oprah-watching women from the midwest to share and pin to their own boards.
I’m sorry, I just can’t see guys posting pics of cars they want or golf vacations they’d love to take on Pinterest. I also can’t imagine young urban types posting shots of zombie video games, black t-shirts, and music that isn’t Yanni. The minute Pinterest goes that way, the party will be over, the way it was when your mom joined Facebook.
So kids, hurry over to Pinterest to wreck it for mom. Payback, I guess?
UPDATE: I hope folks see my attempt at humor here. A recent post of mine to Pinterest has garnered 25 repins, so maybe I’m figuring it out after all. Now where can I get a DVD of Oprah seasons 1,2 & 3!