Advent Calendar – Dec 18th: Pinterest is my Virtual Assistant

Is it just me, or has life become simpler and yet more complicated with Pinterest? How did we ever live our life before having access to an unlimited compendium of recipes, decor suggestions, fashion hints, life hacks, funny quotes and so much more?

Ten years ago, my social media apps consisted primarily of Facebook, and YouTube and those were two incredible sources of ideas, practical tips and entertainment. I could not conceive of needing any other online app to get inspiration and knowledge to make my life easier

Pinterest is not only a very popular tool to browse through and save recipes to refer to later, but I use it regularly for inspiration on any topic that has captivated my interest. It has become the fourth most popular social media platform in North America, outranking other apps like Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp. More than 250 million people globally use Pinterest every month.

Social media are web-based platforms and applications that allow users to join an online community for sharing information, ideas, personal messages and other content such as videos, music and knowledge. Like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest users interact with each other through liking, commenting and re-saving each other’s stuff and private messaging each other.

How did we get here?

The invention of “blogging” transformed our world and social media began to explode in popularity. You may recall sites like MySpace and LinkedIn coming on the scene twenty years ago and online photo sharing became a thing with sites like Photobucket and Flickr.

YouTube came out in 2005 as the game changer, with an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other across great distances.

By 2006, Facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. These sites remain some of the most popular social networks on the Internet. Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Foursquare and Pinterest began popping up to fill specific social networking niches.

A few years ago my daughter told us that “we were missing so much of her life” because we were not on Snapchat. One of the principal features of Snapchat is that the picture-messages and videos one sends with the app are meant to disappear after they’re viewed, thus not taking up valuable storage space on your device.

What are the side effects of having all of these convenient apps at your fingertips? For starters, I find myself getting messages from e-mail, and texts but also I have to remember to check my Facebook and Instagram, and Messenger, and Snapchat, and WhatsApp just to stay in touch and recently added Kik and WordPress too!

Having access to Pinterest allows me to browse and find inspiration for anything I am about to tackle, but it does get me to take on tasks that are more complex, and that I would perhaps not have considered before. This can be a good thing, but it creates needs I did not have before. A new décor idea gets me shopping, a new craft idea has me ordering supplies etc.

As with all things in life, social media is best experienced in moderation. It is useful, and fun but too much of it, and you may end up with negative side effects. Just keep yourself in check as to why you got into Pinterest in the first place.

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