The social-bookmarking site Pinterest has been around since 2010, but if you’re on Facebook you have probably noticed an upswing in people “pinning” things ”“ that is, posting found images under their names, in folders like “Clothes I’d Like to Own” or “Places I’d Like to Visit.” If you are a woman you are much more likely to have heard of it, as women so far have been its primary users. But business magazines are calling it the fastest-growing site ever: It now has 12 million unique visitors. With so much momentum, it is unlikely that women will hang on to it as their little secret for much longer.
Pinterest’s enthusiastic proponents say that there is nothing new about making collages of pictures that express our personalities: Most of us did it with cut-up magazines as children. But I think there is also something entirely contemporary about the kind of collecting that seems to dominate this site….