A military-wives pinboard on Pinterest.com

Military wives find interest in Pinterest

These days, it seems as though almost any activity that existed prior to advances in digital technology can be accessed, enjoyed, and shared through some social-media service or other: Facebook, Twitter, and a long list of others.

The hobby of collecting recipes and cutting out pictures from magazines to make personal collages has moved into social media, as well. People can now collectively organize their interests and aspects of their identity by creating “pinboards” on Pinterest.

This has caught the attention of (among others) military spouses.

According to Pinterest’s website, its mission is to connect everyone in the world through sharing the “things” they find online that are interesting to them. Pinterest users create pinboards, which are virtual bulletin boards that display what the individual is interested in. Other Pinterest users can view the pinboards of their friends or random people, following their favorite topics and/or people, and re-share what they like. This is how interests collide.

Pinterest can be used to collect recipes, express style, share inspiration, decorate a home, or plan a wedding or a homecoming. All this “pinning” and searching for fascinating images and content online has made Pinterest one of the fastest growing social media sites, with the biggest usage among women, including a growing number of military spouses.

In recent weeks, I’ve kept my eyes on various pinboards that represent aspects of the military and military-family life through the interests of spouses — particularly wives of men in the U.S. armed services. (Pinterest is a huge site and includes many pinboards and much content on military topics; this article covers just a sampling.)

What are military spouses doing on Pinterest? Here are some of the most common types of “pins” made by military spouses:

Images of family: Reunions, goodbyes, kids, babies…

Images of love: Goodbyes and welcome home, tender moments, expressions of emotion…

Collections of quotes and inspirational words…

Collections of military-inspired recipes and food…

Images representing sacrifice and honor…

Even from viewing this small collection of powerful images posted by military spouses, it’s apparent that there is something Pinterest does for these individuals.

Under many pinned images are short blurbs by the pinners or comments from viewers offering encouragement, or messages reminding other people of the importance of the military. Some spouses use Pinterest to discuss their struggles while loved ones are serving overseas; others use the images to represent positive depictions of military life, such as the family and love.

Military pinboards often include similar images that convey similar meanings, and the Pinterest-using spouses offer each other support. This introduces a sense of community through online presence. The military spouses are able to connect with one another and share parts of their identities through Pinterest that might resonate with others who are going through the same things.

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