Ah, Tumblr. The quick-and-easy blogging site which is essentially WordPress’s nerdy little cousin who’s less interested in actually reading and writing and more interested in this and that, and whatever the devil this is:
Something fantastic about tumblr is that because its users are predominantly young people, they are constantly changing and as a result the wesite is constantly changing.
When I first joined Tumblr, I would have been about 14 or 15 years old. The website was a treasure trove of ridiculous posts – words misspelled for comedic effect, inside jokes from every ‘fandom’ possible, GIFs of puppies, everything I could ever have dreamed of.
By the time I had turned 16, however, the website had transformed. I received my first bit of “anon hate” as Tumblr changed from a land of hilarity to a website filled with hate messages and the romanticisation of mental illness. I did not like this version of the website. Honestly, the anonymous hate messages were the least of my worries of that time – it was the idea of this “beautifully broken” characteristic that made me sick to my stomach, the “thinspo” blogs, the rise of the self-diagnosis. The movement served to make issues such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders both a “big deal” and “no big deal” simultaneously, ultimately making it even more difficult to deal with these problems because there was pressure on you to feel the exact same all the time, to write heartfelt posts about how everything affected you, how everything was awful, how Tumblr is the only place you feel safe, etc etc etc. I was not willing to blog or reblog any of this nonsense. I did not, and still do not, want to be considered “beautifully broken”. Just let me slam on a “damaged goods” label and get on with my own life as I please.
I left Tumblr because I was sick of being told that I had to be sick to be interesting, but that I had to be completely normal to be allowed to have opinions on anything else. And the thing about me is that I am one hell of a lot more interested in Doctor Who and music and cartoons and comics than I am in any of that stuff.
I just recently returned to Tumblr (hey, I need something to mess about on while all my flatmates are out having social lives!) to find it majestically transformed yet again, this time for the better. Not only am I constantly stumbling on posts clearly left over from the end of the Great Mental Illness Fad saying things like this:
But it would also appear to have been taken over by LGBT+ people, straight allies and social justice bloggers (or social media activists).
While SMAs get a lot of criticism for being oversensitive on some matters (tw: mild negativity) without actually /doing/ anything (tw: reality), I think that, overall, they are a good thing. The SMAs of Tumblr preach acceptance and equality for all sexualities, all genders, all races, etc. While their views and statements can seem a little extreme at times and give cis-white-males no other option but to “check their privilige”, it is an extremeness that will no longer be required if/when society eventually reaches full equality.
So well done to the people of Tumblr for turning from a community of depression-glorifying health-shaming teens to one of (slightly extreme) social activism. And well done for keeping up your tradition of cat GIFs. I’m excited to see where our online adventure will take us in the future.
Stuff I’d recommend checking out:
- This website (seriously, just click it)
- My buddy Michael’s new music video!
- These blogs:
– The Hempstead Man
– chey being
– The Place of My Incoherent Mind
– Vagrant Contradictions
Hope you all had/have a great day, wherever you are!