I found this and some other gems here after the user liked a post— which has me in a contemplative mood.
Tumblr is designed for daydreamers. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the tumblr platform is that after a short time the backend is completely intuitive and transparent. You can use it with the immediacy needed to express internetty thoughts. But of course those thoughts are much harder to transcribe into real life. Anyone who has found themselves explaining their tumblr off line knows this aggravation.
It’s a semi public dream.
You were there, and you were there, but you had a different face and your hands were the size of watermelons!
Which gets me to the tumblr paradox. It is a public space where people talk mostly to themselves.
Constant daydreamers feel at home here. That dictates the demographics a bit: users that are young enough to have time for constant daydreaming, or the castoffs, eccentrics, artists, thinkers, weirdos, self obsessed, over sensitive, lonely, hungry, diluted, under employed, self conscious, and strange, who have found some way to carve a high functioning inner life from the demands of a more ‘linear’ world.
It results in Beauty, Sadness, and Banality glomming together in freeform—it’s very different from identity based platforms. Those are much heavier on Banality.
There is also a corporatized component of tumblr which understands that value lives in the lucidity of earnest expression. They watch and join in, and try to generate similar dreamstates based around the even more abstract concept of a brand identity. This is fine too. It’s easy enough to avoid if you want to, but also the actual users on the corporate side are the more strident dreamers in their particular fields. For some that’s a joke. But if the permalancer, MFA state has taught us one thing—it’s that occupation is a surprisingly weak indicator of personality.
In the land of tumblr you can (and are encouraged) to live as an avatar, and project what inspires you as much as ‘who you are.’
If you find me in the real world and ask me to justify my thoughts on my tumblr, I feel dismissive, or even invaded… How can I explain myself? What I’m showing was the explanation.
There is a looming paranoia that day dreamers are constantly tasked with justifying—if you have a vibrant and consuming inner life, those around you will often think you are hiding something.
But of course this is the social tick that costs daydreamers so much anxiety, frustration, and enduring relationships…. we forget how effectively most people can separate their inner life from their identity.