Jewish Journal

Pinterest and the battle for social media dominance

by Lisa Ellen Niver

May 16, 2012 | 10:26 am

Screenshot from Pinterest

Does Brain Research say that Pinterest will win the battle for social media supremacy?  The answer is Yes!

In the social media battle, Pinterest may have what it takes to knock out the others. Visual focus means it speaks to our brains in a way the others don’t. Photos, not words, are the focus. No rankings or numbers of friends although the number of likes and re-pins may remake the new currency.

Pinterest is the hottest growing trend in Social Media, remember those boards that looked like cardboard and you took a pushpin and put up your favorite photo of the hottest teen star or a reminder about your next dental appointment, now you can do it virtually! Pinterest is a way to share content and “allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard.” You can also like someone’s “pin” and re-pin it to one of your boards. There are boards for “trip I want to take,” “recipe I want to make,” and “House I want to have.”

Our brains learn best when they can remember and repeat or possible repin. We are visual creatures, over all other senses, but many of these photos invoke other senses and form the comments, which include our longings, feelings and dreams.  The photos tap into the reptilian brain where we want to relax, be fed, our basic needs. We see it and we want to pin it. We can have it all, at least on our boards.

In John Medina’s Brain Rules, he discusses the rules for our brains. After reading this book, I am certain now that Pinterest will win the battle for social media dominance. Let me tell you why. First of all, our brains were built to adapt and survive; however we do not treat the brain with enough exercise or challenge. “Though we have been stuffing [our brains] into classrooms and cubicles for decades, our brains actually were built to survive in jungles and grasslands. We have not outgrown this.” We want to use symbols and fantasize and create alliances. I think there are more options for this development in Pinterest than in other social media giants. We all want to survive and thrive and social media sites are a way to share, be part of a group and belong. As Medina states, “We learned to cooperate which means creating a shared goal. Our ability to learn has deep roots in relationships.” Our bodies and brains cannot thrive without oxygen, but we also need to be nourished by other people. Creating visual boards, which can be shared, liked and added to our own matches our brain’s needs in a unique way.

Chapter 10 in Brain Rules is called “Vision” and it is true indeed that a picture is worth a thousand words.  “Researchers have known for more that 100 years that picture and text follow very different rules…the more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized—and recalled.” Using the phenomenon known as “pictorial superiority effect, or PSE” Pinterest captures the users visual senses and brains and helps us remember and dream.

Pinterest will win the social media battle as it is by far the most visual social media tool currently available.

Lisa Niver Rajna is a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She teaches science in Los Angeles and runs the travel site, We Said Go Travel: http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/ Join her June 12 at their next travel event, Inspired by Caine. More details: http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/los-angeles

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