Pinterest is a social media platform used to share images and ideas, called Pins. People tend to save similar Pin compilations in different boards. Pinterest is also a place where many find peace outside of the busy world, comfort in a little red app, one click away. Does Pinterest carry the same toxic qualities as Instagram and TikTok, or have we finally found a user-friendly, safe and welcoming app? Berkeley High School (BHS) students generally agree that Pinterest is more geared towards the latter, although some have mixed feelings about the platform.
Sam Martino, a sophomore at BHS, shared how he likes to take to Pinterest to escape his hectic lifestyle. “The fun part of Pinterest is procrastinating for hours looking at what you wish your life was like,” Martino said. Reflecting on what he gets out of the app, he explained that Pinterest encourages creativity rather than showing negativity. “It actually helps me figure out what I want in terms of style and decor,” he said. For those like Martino, Pinterest offers a kind of safety, decision-making aid, and inspiration for our brain’s creative outlet.
Naia Valenzuela-Aperribay, also a sophomore at BHS, said the most fun part of Pinterest is “finding different images personalized just for you so they’re sure to interest you.” She hinted that the Explore page is curated for the individual, which brings comfort and support to many Pinterest users. Valenzuela-Aperribay said she uses Pinterest “to find inspiration for my art, my outfits, my makeup, my bedroom, my food.” Unlike Martino, Valenzuela-Aperribay believes that Pinterest can have degrading effects on the mental health of users. “It tends to portray unrealistic standards of living that are unattainable, for the most part, and which could cause someone to develop insecurities,” she explained. Pinterest consumers don’t actually live the life portrayed in their Saved Pins, so the whole board-making phenomenon can lead to unreachable and superficial expectations. For example, not everyone will have the opportunity to live in a penthouse with a view of the Eiffel Tower, which is a common type of “aesthetic” found on Pinterest. The app also helps with fashion trends, which can sometimes stray into the dangerous territory of only including certain body types in aesthetics. Whether what gets in the way is money, looks, or location, “vision” boards remain a fantasy for many.
Neruda Diaz, a junior from Berkeley High School (BHS) expressed her love for Pinterest. “I think the most fun part of Pinterest for me is being able to see so many different things that I like or are interested in,” he said. “I’m going to look on Pinterest and see so many different types of party ideas.” Diaz said using Pinterest is helpful for brainstorming ideas for her graphic design class. Diaz sees Pinterest as a user-friendly space, rather than a harmful app. “I think Pinterest is a cool way to connect with other people and share really cool ideas,” he said.
Overall, Pinterest seems to be a pretty positive environment for teens. In addition to certain insecurities that it can arouse, its aesthetic and friendly environment inspires all students.