My short, but intense relationship with Tumblr.

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So not so many moons ago I moved back home with my parents as was starting my own business, and it made financial sense (not sane sense I might add) to move home. I was looking online for inspiration and my friends little sister (this should have been the warning sign) said ‘oh have you tried tumblr, it’s awesome and people post all sorts’. Tumblr? What was this area of the internet I have not accessed? (and trust me I had accessed a lot of the internet, some of it I wish I could forget)

So there I was, going on tumblr.com for the first time and it was AMAZING, like AMAZING. So easy to use, told me who to follow, then I followed stuff that they re-blogged and it was inspiring and fun! I was getting so inspired I started saving photos (photos I am now a little embarrassed of), I had hundreds of them:

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I felt that these were MY people (granted I was going through a break up, career change, was back at home) but they got me! I would sit there nodding going ‘YES!’ at posts before right click saving them. I would spend HOURS on tumblr, it almost became an obsession. There were even these posts that said things like ‘people in real life don’t get us’ and I would laugh and agree, how I would laugh.

Then there were the Meme’s everything from Socially Awkward Penguin to Courage Wolf (and this is the very tip of the crazy meme iceberg) I would try and show my real life friends these hilarious pictures I had found on the internet (tell them about my amazing secret world? I think not!)

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But did they get them? Did they hell. They just kind of looked at me with disdain and said ‘I don’t get it’ How can you not get it I told them (whilst literally trying not to laugh as I showed them) but alas they did not. Did this stop me? HELL NO it made me go on tumblr and explain to ‘my people’ of tumblr that my in real life friends didn’t get the memes. (Please take not I was 26, and this was a saturday night) and they totally got my pain! It wasn’t me! It was the anti tumblr crowd! I went to bed (finally after endless scrolling, laughing to myself, giving nods of understanding and general tumblrness) satisfied that it wasn’t me! I mean who needed real life friends? I had tumblr! And 3000 people wanted to follow me, I had the power!

One day my parents were really driving me up the wall, I cannot even remember what it was about, but I decided to write a quick tumblr post about it, and it got several likes, reposts and a few messages. One message that stood out was from a girl who seemed to be going through the same thing as me, we chatted over the message system, and eventually she asked if I had a facebook (this wasn’t some kind of chatting up thing, they were MY PEOPLE!) I explained that I didn’t use facebook (more on that later) but did say she could email me. (I wasn’t into twitter or anything at this point)

So when I hadn’t heard back from her for a few days I didn’t really think anything of it. Then I got an email from tumblr saying my profile had been flagged for being inappropriate? For what? Liking the courage wolf too much? Drunken puppy? Then I got an email from my ‘friend’ lets call her Sarah. But it wasn’t Sarah it was her mother, telling me Sarah was 11, and that she found it ‘strange’ that a 26 year old had befriended her (she had apparently been given information from tumblr – the traitors!) and thought it was strange, and that she and her family were not sure who I said I was and were worried I was grooming her. I sat there in horror and was upset (not sure if I was more upset about the fact I had basically been called a paedophile or my perfect tumblr world was ruined, over.

Suddenly I saw tumblr in a new light, when I scrolled down most of the posts about tumblr being amazing and better than in real life, were about being away from school. I hadn’t been in a classroom for 10 years. What was wrong with me? Was I having a nervous breakdown? I promptly deleted my tumblr account, rang my friends and got drunk with them in the real world.

I do still use tumblr for work purposes (and that only) but have to say every-time I see that socially awkward penguin I shudder slightly.

 Sobriety Kills

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4 comments
  1. Yikes! I know that feeling in a round-about way. We have a carnival that comes to town every year for a big festival. It sets up at the end of our block. One night, after the kids went to bed, my wife and I decided on a late-night “elephant ear” from the snack stand. It was cold, so old told my wife I’d walk over to the carnival. Since I also work for the newspaper, I brought my camera in case I saw a photo we could use. As I’m walking through the carnival — a 46-year-old man with his camera — I realize I am probably 25 years older than anyone else there, except for the carnies (like THAT’s supposed to make me feel better). I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! 🙂 That said, I really enjoyed this piece. Cheers!

  2. Emily said:

    Yeek!

    I only use Tumblr for reposting fandom things, I think I’ve only actually posted something myself once, but it definitely does make you think about how much you engage on these types of platforms.

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