Looking for a new do-it-yourself project to start this week? First, check out the thousands of DIY boards found on Pinterest. It’s a social networking site that takes the concept of pinning your interests to a virtual level. The content and categorization of users’ pinboards are totally up to the individual. With the ability to follow any number of boards on an increasingly wide range of topics, users have access to thousands of DIY arts and crafts ideas, landscaping photos, recipes and more. The topics are virtually endless.
Pinterest is great for online interaction, but why not bring some of the DIY ideas to life? On Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Jan. 31 the Student Wellness Partners hosted two arts and crafts events featuring some fun and easy ideas found on Pinterest. From 3-5 p.m. in HUB 248, free crafts materials were laid out for students to enjoy. Among some of the activities were making scarves, armbands and bookmarkers.
With a stressful midterm season ahead, students were welcomed to enjoy time away from their hectic schedules and find some peace of mind in a creative and relaxed atmosphere. Both of these events were a part of The Well’s midterm stress relief series aimed at giving students a well-deserved break during the chaos of test time. The student volunteers hosting the event included Ingrid Arteaga, who showed participants how to create friendship bracelets and properly cut scarves out of shirts, an idea found on Pinterest. As the events carried on and the evening progressed, students arrived before and after classes to listen to soft music and utilize the art supplies provided.
Arteaga commented on the site, saying, “On Pinterest, you can connect with people and ideas from different places, most you’ve never met before.” Not only is Pinterest good for providing access to crafty ideas, but also for connecting your interests and identifying with other people from any number of creative backgrounds. Participant Christina Tjandra, who is also a user of the site, appreciates it for its approach. “I like how Pinterest isn’t about who you’re following, but about your own interests,” said Tjandra.
Until August of last year, the site had an air of exclusivity, when users were only able to join the site through request or invitation by a current user. Pinterest was conceptualized by Ben Silbermann in 2009 and launched in March of 2010. Following this change, Pinterest made its debut on Android and iPad devices, proving the company to be a fighting contender in the world of image-based networking.
This particular mode of networking has become popular with sites and apps like Tumblr and Instagram. Similar to these examples, Pinterest allows their users to upload personal images or ideas and share them with their followers. What makes the site unique is that users can also pin images or blog posts from an internet site using the “Pin It” tab installed after sign-up. From beauty and fashion to cooking and crafts, Pinterest is a hub for anyone to share their ideas on their own terms. Sites like Pinterest and similarly, Instagram or Tumblr, make it easy for users to create unique spheres of interest by digitally interacting with others.
The series of Pinterest events were an easy way to bring a specific digital interaction to life. Pinterest and sites like it are great for creative expression, boredom, laughs and even news. However, reblogging and repinning are no replacement for the real thing. When discussing the topic of users on image-based networking site, Tjandra said, “You can’t use them if you don’t have self-control.”Organizations like The Well are constantly finding ways to bring students together through relevant and creative events.