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Tumblr transformed me but now it's just another place for people already protected by the mainstream

6 14 0

My early ventures into the social realms of the internet were filled with hopes of wish fulfillment; dreams of what I previously thought impossible.

There’s me, pre-pubescent, eager to connect with others like myself, shitposting on popular website “neopets”, breaking the rules and identifying myself above the virtual age limit so that I could communicate with peers across the world. It was terrible … It was thrilling. It was transformative.

Websites like Tumblr specifically built on this blueprint, birthing a whole new generational sensibility which didn’t privilege specific formats, like Instagram did with images or text focused outlets like Wordpress and Twitter – it was as non-hierarchical as a social media platform could possibly be. Hierarchies of taste, too, were disrupted as a result of the formatting and the accompanying culture.

A multi-disciplinary, middlebrow approach to consumption began to define a digital generation; in your “Tumblr feed” you could see a gif from a tv show alongside a photograph of a neoclassical painting without comment, sandwiched in between an audio clip of album deep cut, then perhaps a selfie the blogger found sexy. After a time, you began to accept the random nature of it all.

I learned in those tender years of internet use that there was a great freedom in being able to adopt a username and online persona, to be........

© The Guardian