Is Your Teen Ready For Pinterest?

Pinterest is one of the most popular social media networks right now, but it operates a little differently than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This post will give you an idea of how Pinterest works, some possible safety hazards, and whether or not your teen is ready to join.


A couple decades ago, some people saved parts of magazines that they wanted to save for later: recipes, crafts, decorating ideas, gardening tips, etc. My mother had a large binder full of home ideas she wanted to use some day. Pinterest is the digital version of that idea. Members save “pins” (pictures and/or links) and organize them on “boards.”


For example, if I had a large bunch of parsley that I did not know how to use, I would search on Pinterest for parsley recipes. Pinterest would show me hundreds of pins (links) of various recipes with parsley: parsley soup, parsley roasted potatoes, parsley with fish, etc. If there was a particular idea I liked, I would “pin” the idea so I could easily find it later.


Other social media platforms exist for keeping friends and family informed about one’s life. However, Pinterest is less for sharing events than for sharing ideas.


Consequently, the privacy concerns that are integral in using other forms of social media just are not a part of Pinterest. The average Pinterest user displays little to no personal information. Profiles are public, though, so anyone could go through your Pinterest account and surmise details like interests, upcoming vacations or weddings, approximate ages of children, etc. If that concerns you, there is the option to make “Secret Boards” that are only visible to you.


Suggestive images and profanity are common on Pinterest, though. There is the option to unfollow any other user and no longer see what they pin. You can also report a pin to Pinterest as pornography, hate speech, spam, etc.


Pinterest is a tool. When used appropriately (the terms of service only allow ages 13 and older), it is one of the more private and more uplifting social media communities. However, parents should monitor teens’ Pinterest activity just like any other online activity.


Before using Pinterest, a teenager should be able to recognize and avoid inappropriate or unsafe content and use a search engine responsibly. If you feel confident in your teen’s ability to do so, happy pinning! If not, maybe this particular social media website should wait a few more years.


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