Pinterest is a social media platform used to share pictures and ideas, called Pins. People tend to save compilations of similar Pins 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 of Instagram and TikTok, or have we finally found an app that is friendly, safe, and welcoming? Berkeley High School (BHS) students are generally in consensus that Pinterest is more geared towards the latter, though some have mixed feelings about the platform.
Sam Martino, a sophomore at BHS, explained how he enjoys going on Pinterest to escape his hectic lifestyle. “The fun part of Pinterest is procrastinating for hours looking at what you wish your life was,” said Martino. When contemplating what he gets out of the app, he explained that Pinterest encourages creativity rather than exhibiting negativity. “It actually helps me figure out what I want in terms of style and room decor,” he said. For those like Martino, Pinterest offers some sort of security, offers help with decision making, and provides inspiration for our brain’s creative outlet.
Naia Valenzuela-Aperribay, also a sophomore at BHS, said that the most fun part of Pinterest is “finding different images that are customized solely for you so they’re sure to interest you.” She implied that the Explore page is curated to the individual, which brings comfort and support to a lot of Pinterest users. Valenzuela-Aperribay said she uses Pinterest “to find inspiration for my art, outfits, makeup, room, food.” In contrast to Martino, Valenzuela-Aperribay feels that Pinterest can have degrading effects on the mental health of users. “It tends to portray unrealistic standards of life that are unattainable, for the most part, and that could make someone develop insecurities,” she explained. Pinterest consumers aren’t actually living the lives that are portrayed in their saved Pins, so the entire phenomenon of creating boards can lead to unattainable and shallow expectations. For example, not everyone will get the opportunity to live in a penthouse with the view of the Eiffel Tower, which is a common type of “aesthetic” present on Pinterest. The app also contributes to fashion trends, which can sometimes stray into the dangerous territory of only including certain body types in the aesthetic. Whether the thing getting in the way is money, appearance, or location, the “vision” boards for many remain a fantasy.
Neruda Diaz, a junior attending Berkeley High School (BHS) expressed his love for Pinterest. “I think the most fun part about Pinterest to me is being able to see so many different things that I love or things I am interested in,” he said. “I’ll look on Pinterest and see so many different types of party ideas.” Diaz expressed that using Pinterest is helpful when thinking of ideas for his graphic design class. Diaz views Pinterest as a friendly space for users, rather than an app that is harmful. “I think Pinterest is a cool way to connect with other people and share really cool ideas,” he said.
All in all, Pinterest appears to be a mostly positive environment for teenagers. Besides some insecurities it can bring up, its aesthetic and friendly milieu provide inspiration for students as a whole.