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A Quick Guide to Pinterest for Families

0 Comments 02 April 2012

 

 A Quick Guide to Pinterest for Families

If you haven’t heard, Pinterest is the latest internet hit. Part social media, part photo swapping - the new social sharing site has the potential to go strong for quite some time. But what should parents know about Pinterest? Is it harmless for children? Teens? What does Pinterest really do? What is it for? I will attempt to give you some understanding into the new and exhilarating world of pinning.

To begin with, you can’t just sign up for Pinterest. You have to either be invited or request an invite. At this early stage, neither one is very problematic. If you request an invite it typically gets to you within a day or two. If you know somebody already on Pinterest, then it is just a matter of connecting an email link and creating a user name.

pin it close up 300x162 A Quick Guide to Pinterest for FamiliesOnce you’re on and able to create a user name, you routinely get a few ‘boards’. This is where you will store your pins. What is a pin? A pin is simply Pinterest’s form of a save button. When you sign up, you will get a tool button to place on the top of your internet browser. This button is named ‘pin it’. Now, any time you are cruising blogs and websites and come across a picture you love, you can simply hit the pin it button and save that snapshot, complete with the url to one of your boards.This means no more misplacing those recipes you loved, no forgetting where you found that delightful baby video, and no more losing track of your friend’s baby shower pictures.

When you pin, you pick what board to place it in. You can alter the names, but they normally start out with names like ‘Fashion’, ‘Places I Like’, ‘People’, ‘Adorable Animals’, etc. You just categorize where you want your pinned picture to go, and presto. Saved forever.

You can even add a subtitle to the pins you make: a description, information, call to action, or merely the word pretty. That’s all there is to it. You can also repin other people’s pins by topic or by person, making this an excellent method of sharing.

Now, that leads us into the security matter. There are a few things that parents should be aware of when it comes to Pinterest. For one, there is practically no moderation. That means that any image can be pinned. Even naked photos. It is infrequent, but it does happen. Even the photos that do not have full nudity can still be pretty indecent, and not appropriate for young children. Language is also a concern, as subtitles are not censored. 138284 425x282 child on computer 300x199 A Quick Guide to Pinterest for Families

One of the wonderful things about Pinterest is also one of the hazards. When you double click on a picture it will take you to the original site it came from. That’s great for recipes and the like, but even inoffensive photos can occasionally lead to pornographic sites.

Since all information entered on Pinterest is voluntary, i.e. they do not take information from your Facebook, etc, it is pretty benign as far as personal information goes. However, your pins will expose where you surf the web and what you are viewing, so be mindful.

Pinterest is an enjoyable, easy to navigate, and a pretty entertaining and useful site. It is beneficial in many ways. But if your children are on it, make them cognizant of the hazards and make sure they are mature enough to use it responsibly.

Happy Pinning!

 

Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair jobs. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @ gmail.com.

 

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