Pinterest isn’t your average social network; its 250 million customers spend their time creating collections of things that make them happy, rather than, say, competing to spread news which may end up making someone sad. However, when Pinterest customers search the platform for something dreary anyhow, the company doesn’t have misgivings about stepping in.
Today, Pinterest has revealed a new set of “emotional well-being actions” that it will automatically suggest to a user who searches for phrases that signal that they’re undergoing some anxiety or stress or in any other case feeling bad. Moreover, sure — one of those exercises, developed in partnership with the Stanford School of Medicine’s Brainstorm lab, actually asks Pinterest users to take some deep breaths.
It’s hardly the first time that Pinterest has steered user searches in a more positive direction, by the way: as Wired notes, in the event you sort in phrases like “suicide” or “bulimia,” “mutilation” or “cutting,” you’ll be pointed in the direction of a message like “Are you battling an eating disorder? Assist is offered” and even end up going through down a note that directs you to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255).
Pinterest is also the platform that decided to stop surfacing search results to controversial subjects stuffed with wrong information, like “vaccines.”
Pinterest doesn’t want to be seen as a social network, which is smart, contemplating how many don’t think social networks are necessarily good for the world nowadays, and may even be dangerous and depressing. However, perhaps that’s why tiny steps like this could feel so refreshing.