35. Pining for Pinterest?

Last week I finished Sally Hogshead’s book “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation.” Since finishing it, I can’t look at any sort of media without thinking to myself, “Hm…what trigger are they using?” The 7 triggers Sally discusses in her book – lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice, trust – can all be used by companies, brands and people to captivate an audience.

I’ve also been hearing a lot about Pinterest lately. I mean, more than normal. If you’re still unsure of what Pinterest is, it’s a relatively new social media site that lets users “pin” things of interest (hence the name Pinterest!) onto different pin boards. You can choose what pin boards are displayed on your page. Popular ones include recipes, book lists, and places to visit.

This article of last weekend’s Daily Emerald –

– mentioned how Pinterest might be turning us all into wannabe Martha Stewarts. This got me thinking. What trigger is Pinterest using that lures mostly young and middle-aged women to spend hours upon hours, pinning and repinning?

I guess the word “lures” kind of gives it away. I think Pinterest uses the lust trigger SO well. It’s the perfect place to drool over unhealthy and delicious treats, dream vacation destinations, designer wedding dresses and even the occasional sexy celebrity. And crafts. Lots and lots of crafts. This all is screaming with lust! As Rachel Leibrock puts it, Pinterest combines “a hefty dose of unfulfilled DIY ambition and naked consumer lust.”

I signed up for an account a couple of months ago when everyone else was, using it every now and again. My boards (minus the recipe one) are rather vacant.

I guess my pinboards give away what I lust after the most. Mmmm, food…

For me, Pinterest is just like a visually pleasing Bookmarks list. I use it to keep track of recipes I find, which I could just as easily bookmark (yet having a photo on the pin board amps up the lust trigger). The “Pin it!” button makes it so easy. I use it to keep track of outfits I like. Books I want to read. For me, it’s not so much about sharing these things with people who follow me, but it’s more like just another place for me to try and organize things. Pin boards are like easy-access file folders.

The Daily Emerald article author argues that Pinterest needs to “become a part of the 21st century” and show that “girls…have other things on their minds.” I can see her point, but if the majority of women on Pinterest are pinning things like food, clothes, and travel destinations, isn’t it a representation of what many women enjoy lusting after? Rather than a place to share serious real-life information, Pinterest seems more like a little escape from reality and a place to share your fantasies. Lust away, Pinterest-ites!


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