October 25, 2014

Pinterest and the INFJ Personality Type

pinterest

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more.

A few days ago, I was moping around because all of my holiday company had left, particularly my college age children. One of my daughters is a teacher and an INFJ.  She said to me, “Oh mom, quit dragging around.  Let’s make you a Pinterest.”

Pinterest, a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to organize theme-based images is one of her favorite ways to relieve stress.  Even when she was a young child, pictures, particularly if they were unusual, attracted her attention.  She loved “mags” (her magazines) and the best gift she ever received was her first digital camera.  It was no surprise that Pinterest soon became her favorite social media website.

The INFJ personality type tends to rely on the visual part of the brain more often than other personality types. In fact, according to Dr. Dario Nardi’s The Neuroscience of Personality both the INTJ and the INFJ are strong visual thinkers who use the O1 and O2 regions of the brain frequently.  (“O” stands for the occipital lobe of the brain which is the visual cortex).

So, I asked my daughter how she feels after she works with her Pinterest board.  She reported that she is more relaxed and more energized after doing it.   Then she said, ” I wonder if there are many INFJ-related “pins” on the board so we searched “INFJ” on Pinterest. There were pages and pages of them!   Just to test this out further, we searched other types and found several pins for other types such as the ENFP but not nearly as many.   What’s even more interesting is the the INFJ personality type is present in only 1-2% of the population yet they had the most pins related to their type!

What’s the upshot of all of this?  First, Pinterest might be an effective stress reliever/energizer, particularly for this personality type.  Further, it might serve as a perfect way to organize thoughts and keep track of details for multiple personality types but especially for the INFJ.

I woud love to hear from INFJs who use Pinterest.  Does this sound like you?

Ann C. Holm

 

Comments

  1. Well, INFJ is my “best match,” though I feel better when I can say I’m the ENTP of INFJs…

    I’m not who you’re asking for, since I’m not (yet?) involved in Pinterest. I just found the emphasis on visual interesting, because I’m more about words than images.

    e.g., when stressed and unable to focus on taking in new information (Reading fiction or non-fiction), I’ll turn to poetry, or sometimes quote books. I’ve jokingly called it “thought pizza,” delivering a whole thought with a unique perspective.

    The Pinterests I’ve visited have been less than relaxing, because they tend to be about things-to-do, and looking at all the things I *could* be doing isn’t relaxing for me.

    I do tend to enjoy movies quotes/images and analyses– like on Tumblr and TVtropes.org

  2. Thanks for your comment, Amy. It may be that you are not an INFJ – sometimes reported type is not the same as verified type. You mentioned some affinity with the ENTP type. On the other hand, not everyone of a particular type is entirely the same so you may be an INFJ but not be quite as attracted to the visual. Type practitioners say certain types “tend to” do certain things but there are more factors than just type that make up who we are. Thanks for writing and for your interesting insights!

  3. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days. I am an INFJ who uses Pinterest. Pinning things on Pinterest appeals to me because it’s a visual way to organize ideas and plans for the future. Ideas and future plans occupy my thoughts most of the time, so in that way it appeals to my N. It’s true that it can be stress-relieving for me, as it satisfies my J need for order. And it’s something I do alone, so it appeals to my I.

    However, I think there are two other factors that could flesh out this idea. One is learning style and the other is typology interest. I am a visual learner — it helps me to see something diagrammed or watch someone do it (or even just read about it and see words on a page) when I’m trying to learn something. An INFJ who is a kinesthetic or audio learner might not be as visually oriented, while still being otherwise true to type.

    I have found INFJs to be unusually interested in personality theory…much more so than most other types. So the number of pins about INFJs may have less to do with the number of INFJs on Pinterest and more to do with the number of INFJs who are interested in being INFJs.

  4. Thank you for your insights, Becky. It is true that INFJs tend to be interested in personality type. In general, the NF temperament is interested in personal development in self and others more than most types. That would include ENFP, INFP, INFP, and INFJ. “N”‘s in general are substantially overrepresented as members in the Association for Psychological Type. So I am not sure if the INFJ interest in personality type would account for the difference because there other types that are just as interested if not more so. The visual strength of the INFJ is noted in Dario Nardi’s EEG work. So I do think there is something to the visuals of Pinterest being appealing to many INFJs. That being said though, it is important that not all people who share a personality type will have all of the same characteristics. An INFJ could be a kinesthetic learner although theoretically, hands on types like ISTP or ESTP might be more inclined to be kinesthetic. I wonder if someone has looked at type and learning style. I imagine someone has.

  5. Hi, I have just discovered being an INFJ and also just made me an pinterest account. It was partly trough that and all the describing images/explanations of INFJ functions that I truly realized my personality type. I had been believing I was an INFP, but not really finding it fitting me as the functions are quite different. For me pinterest speaks a lot to my visual mind and makes me inspired. It’s not yet as organized as I would like to have it (probably because I’m new to it and need to make my own systems) but still really good. I understand why we are so many INFJs there.

  6. My work involves a very visually intensive application of math and engineering oriented graphics. Perhaps that is my primary visualization outlet. It surprises people that an INFJ would be into such a profession; and actually, had I it all to do over, I would likely have gone into neuroendocrinology.

    Back to the topic at hand, I have a Pinterest account, but I also find that males are considered quite out of place on Pinterest. Actually, males are considered rather out of place, in societally standardized terms, as INFJ.

    I do find it fascinating, on Facebook, observing that the INFP have quite a lot more color and fantasy imagery on their pages, while INFJ tend to have fewer, but intensely meaningful, artistic expressions.

  7. Hi Gary- thanks for your comments. It’s definitely true that there aren’t that many males on Pinterest. I imagine they are trying to come up with a plan to change that! My brother is an INFJ and remember him being very enthralled with the beauty of higher level math. My math is basically at the level of simple calculations so I don’t get what he is describing. I wonder if that is visual in some way?

  8. Ann, I’m INFJ and am on Pinterest. I’ve not much time to play in that world, so by boards aren’t full. They ae organized, though not up to my standard yet. As for whether higher math and engineering are visual? I’d say absolutely! I relate math to music (somehow i link visual and audio)! And if you’ve ever seen an engineers CAD drawing you’d see they are very visual as well.

  9. >”both the INTJ and the INFJ are strong visual thinkers who use the O1 and O2 regions of the brain frequently.”

    I’m an INTJ and I love Pinterest. At this point, I have 68 boards and 6547 pins. (approx 1/4 – 1/3 about cats, but I have other interests too, including MBTI and Introverts :-)

  10. > “What’s even more interesting is the the INFJ personality type is present in only 1-2% of the population yet they had the most pins related to their type!”

    I’ve noticed that the IN types are disproportionately represented in Social Media. We’re quite vocal in Twitter and Facebook, have type-specific groups in Facebook and LinkedIn, pin everything we can find in Pinterest. We may be a low % in the genpop but Social Media seems to be our playground.

  11. Vicki- I think you might be right about the social media thing. First it’s quite visual. Secondly, introverts in particular like the opportunity to participate and share their thoughts without having to be put on the spot!

  12. This is so fitting for me! I am an INFJ who absolutely adores Pinterest (I also like Polyvore a lot). First I discovered Polyvore, and I loved how I could visualise a set in my head and make it into visual reality, but Pinterest is really my favorite of the two. I love that it is mostly just pictures and only a small amount of text. I also love how you can connect images that relate to certain theme, and seeing it all structured into one board. I also find it as my best stress reliever, even though I can get very “obsessed” with making a board perfect and finding the best pins, but even then I still find it quite relaxing and fulfilling.

  13. Hi,

    I’m an INFJ, and I love pinterest. I have always loved collecting quotes and pictures, and I love that pinterest is giving me a board to do so (without the clutter of endless papers and notes). The only thing I find is that I sometimes find myself overwhelmed at the endless opportunities of what kind of themes to call your boards, and I sometimes wish I could just start over – the constant strive for perfection, I guess… (which I also know is not achievable, and when I do try to start over with another account I realize I miss most of my other pins, and then I get torn between both accounts…)

    I sometimes also feel guilty about how much time I spend on it. Not that I spend very much time on it, but whenever I do open it, I get lost in the joy of finding new pictures or quotes or ideas. I am also still hoping for the day that I will actually use some of the recipes and ideas that I have collected… :)) But I agree wholeheartedly, that it is a very relaxing place to spend time in. :)

  14. Ps.: I forgot to mention one thing – the only trouble or distress it gives me at times is when I (and I tend to do so) overanalyze the posts and when they fit into more than one category, as I seem to have very specific boards, and when I then have to choose which one it should go into… But at the same time it is those very specific categories that I love, focusing on one specific bigger theme. The bigger picture, but in a specific way, if that makes any sense. :)

    (the same goes for my iTunes playlists, too, by the way. I love coming up with unique categories or names :))

  15. missanjel says:

    Pinterest is my therapy…my boards truly reflect the complex thoughts and dreams that I’m bursting to share! I love planning, visualizing, organizing, categorizing, and making my boards as beautiful and uplifting as possible. My Faith board for when I can’t feel God’s presence and need a key verse to remind me of His endless support. My empowerment boards for storing the thousands of quotes I call favorite and to remember how amazing and unique I am when my confidence gets a little shaky. My glamorous board for all the delicious feminity and gorgeousness I can stand (which is a lot lol) all in one place, My laugh and love board that I store the most sarcastic, funny, and witty jokes I can find–belly laughs at every turn. I could go on and on…naturally my private boards have the most pins..typical INFJ

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