The Psychology of Pinning and Repinning (And Repinning Again)

My Pinterest Boards

My Pinterest Boards

We Pinterest lovers all know how it goes. You spot a fabulously designed living room-- the kind that makes you want to inspect every minute detail from the patterns to the accessories. You pin it and voila! The room's drool factor is instantly recognized by all your followers. Quickly it gets repinned.  And then you realize it's already been pinned across multiple boards. You see it again, and again, and again.  And. Yet. Again. Now the excitement has worn off and the drool factor's been turned down a couple notches. It's like the equivalent of a hot new trend that has been done to death (think peplum everywhere).  In this age of instant fashion, instant food, and practically instant everything, it seems to take a lot more to keep our senses stimulated than it used to.  It's kind of like an addict who needs stronger drugs to achieve that initial high (I know, bad example, but you get the point). Has the saturation of images on Pinterest, and social media in general overloaded our senses, making it more difficult to get excited and stay excited about design? Are we having a harder time honing our unique tastes because we are so bombarded with an influx of fabulously decorated spaces and fashion?  Here are some ways that can help us retain a sharp eye amidst the onslaught of, of-the-moment looks:

1. You know that "this is it" feeling you get, when you know that a space is right for you? According to design psychologists, that's called, "getting to yes." It's the emotional connection you feel when you instinctively know a space is right for you. One thing we can do to achieve that "getting to yes"  feeling is to be attuned to our emotional reactions to the images we see. This way we can more easily filter out less than optimal reasons for pinning  such as the urge to pin an image because we've been overly influenced by a trend or we think others will like it. I like to think of it as meeting a celebrity before you know he 's famous. What effect would he have on you if you didn't know he was widely known? Would you like him anyway? Same with images. If you like them regardless of whether it is trending or not, its a good sign that the image has really hit a cord with you.

Pure Style Pinterest Board

My Pure Style Pinterest Board

2. Do you ever stop to think about what aspects of an image image attract you? I mean really think about it. This may help to clarify your individual style, and  pin images with much more conviction. In other words, do you  love the pink couch because of the way it looks against the black and white wallpaper even though you've seen 36 other pins with the same couch?

Simply Lovely Pinterest Board

My Simply Lovely Pinterest Board

3. How about searching elsewhere for inspiration first? Sometimes it helps to get inspired from an object or room you've see in person, or in a book or magazine, and then search for similar images on Pinterest. This will help keep you focused and more likely to pin images you feel authentically connected too. I like to think of it as active versus passive pinning.

Stylish Interiors

My Stylish Interiors Pinterest Board

So what can we learn from this pinning and repinning process ? In an age where we have instant access to everything, it may be hard to retain our individuality. But if we strive to do so, we will sharpen our eye and may become more in touch with our sense of style than we would have otherwise.  What is it about an image that gets you to hit the pin button? Do you think your pins reflects your true sense of style?