Pinterest: The Hidden Productivity Gem

Written by Alex Gallaway

It’s no secret that in today’s digital age, people of all generations use phone or computer applications on a daily basis. Apps for scheduling, messaging, and note-taking are just a few examples of technology which can be extremely helpful in a productivity or communication context. However, these apps are vastly outnumbered by games or social media applications, which seem to deliberately grasp users away from the world around them. Today the digital space is primarily occupied by TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, which can consume more of our daily lives than many would like to admit. While there are possible steps that can be taken to avoid extensive screen use, such as silencing notifications, taking breaks, or setting time limits in settings, sometimes our free will outweighs the desire to do anything else aside from “doom scrolling” (the almost universal experience of scrolling lifelessly through social media apps and having great difficulty turning our attention away from the screen). Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, we have seen a tremendous surge in the popularity of these apps and their usage, and at times it seems that all these large companies needed was a pandemic to really “rope us in.” It’s an upsetting situation that many are aware of, but it is difficult to come to terms with. It’s incredibly difficult to come out and say you have a “problem” when the whole world seems to be suffering from the same thing. But what if I told you there was a social media app out there that could actually make you want to get out there and do something? And it’s hiding right under your nose. 

Pinterest is not a “new” platform by any means, having been released to the public over a decade ago in 2012. Many have found that Pinterest is notably easier to turn off and walk away from, given that it hasn’t made many significant changes to how the app functions.

Upon realizing how quickly social media hours increased with the release of TikTok (which provides constant stimulation at only a finger swipe), apps like Instagram,

Facebook and YouTube altered their platforms to include a similar function in the form of “reels” or “shorts.” Pinterest has managed to avoid this completely and offers the same “simple scrolling” of pages made up primarily of images designed to inspire. Although, in this way, it does resemble a typical social media app and still has the potential to be addictive, Pinterest can also be used as a secret weapon for productivity and creative stimulation. 

Pinterest has a few features that set it apart from the average “doom scrolling” experience you often sign up for with other social apps, as it maintains a focus on the spread of ideas. It holds the official title of an “image-sharing” social app, with more of a focus on a single shared image as opposed to Instagram’s format of multi-photo posts with noticeable captions. 

The app allows you to post your own ideas but also to compile “boards,” which serve as essentially a folder where you can store ideas under different topics. There are limitless categories of hobbies, interests, and ideas to be inspired from. Personally, I have over 100 Pinterest boards. My most active ones are my knitting and crochet inspiration board, my house decor board, classroom decor board, baking idea board, inspiration boards for creative games like “Animal Crossing” and “Minecraft,” and different compiled boards which exhibit my “fan” interests, like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Star Wars,” or “Dan and Phil.” These are only a handful of examples of the elaborate and creative board themes that can be compiled using this app. Even for those who aren’t particularly creatively inclined, being exposed to things we are interested in from a standpoint of inspiration can contribute to our overall mental health and well-being and give us something in the “real world” to look forward to. 

Posts to TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook typically serve the purpose of direct entertainment in some shape or form. These are often “longer” posts with several images, a video, or a caption typically pertaining to someone else’s life or a specific interest (a TV show, a celebrity, a book series, etc). Most social media platforms also serve as a place to

provide an idealized image of yourself. This has become a crucial issue in the digital age, as many unrealistic portrayals of what an individual’s day-to-day life looks like can be detrimental to the mental health of both followers and account owners themselves. This is not to say Pinterest can’t become addictive – essentially, any stimulating digital experience can become addictive if not used conscientiously – but the way it is formulated makes it much less likely. Pinterest encourages creative ideas for hobbies you are already interested in and allows you to share your own creative projects rather than trying to maintain a gruelling, consuming focus on an idealized version of other people’s lives. 

Although it may not deliberately be crafted as a “productivity” app, Pinterest has tremendous potential to increase our desire to be creative and productive. Pinterest has increased my inspiration in my everyday life and, as a result, has often driven my desire to be more productive. In my experience, having a portal which shows us the things that we can do and can create sparks a desire to do so. Keeping our minds sharp, creative, and active is critical and stands as an essential aspect of modern productivity. In an age where so much is done for us, one of the best things we can do is to stay creative and continue to seek inspiration for what we can bring to the table ourselves. 

Source

Hedlund, U. (2018, August 1). A quick overview of Pinterest. Business Productivity. https://businessproductivity.com/a-quick-overview-of-pinterest/#:~:text=Pinterest%20was%2%200founded%20by%20Ben,made%20available%20to%20the%20public

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