Many people go through phases. At college I went through a hipster-fangirl-tumblr one. It was the thing back in 2012. I was cool.
I made friends in college that were into the same things as I was which was such a HUGE difference to school where everyone was just trying to be popular. College was a way of being myself with others that were unique in their own ways, but also who enjoyed many of the things that I had (secretly) enjoyed for years. I am so glad I didn’t go to sixth form.
The friends I made also introduced me to new things, such as the huge fangirl movement on tumblr (back then it wasn’t seen as a ‘SJW’ space, but I’d be down for that, too. Equality rocks!). I was immediately in love. I never had many followers but I spent so many hours on it, reblogging and liking and desperately trying to create cute graphics on photoshop. I was not great at making stuff; but I did okay. I enjoyed myself, I loved seeing all the Johnlock fanart, the Harry Potter gifs and the Doctor Who memes. All of my favourite things were in one space.
And it stayed like that for around 18 months! I liked the community and the atmosphere and it was all fun and games.
Until it wasn’t.
I was experiencing some mental health issues that meant I wasn’t enjoying the things I used to enjoy, so instead of finding joy on tumblr, I found it childish and a waste of time. I was also growing up fast, with the prospect of university just around the corner. I felt older than everyone on the site (even though I probably wasn’t) and it felt so pointless and stupid. There were a few reasons why I eventually left.
- I had exams. It all started because I needed to focus on my work rather than the internet, but after they were over I realised the real reason I wasn’t on tumblr anymore was not because I needed to revise, but because I just didn’t want to.
- It was making me angry. Every time I went on it I saw someone arguing about a ship, moaning about something or just being plain rude. It was sad. Tumblr was supposed to be somewhere safe for like-minded people to be themselves. Instead of ignoring, unfollowing or being civil, people were starting full-on fandom warfare.
- It lost it’s purpose. It used to be fun, but it was definitely more of a popularity contest. It was about the follower count and creating the post that was guaranteed reblogs and likes rather than thinking about quality. Blogs that were carbon-copies of each other had thousands of followers whereas blogs that created beautiful content had less than 100.
- I grew up. As I mentioned, I grew up fast in the second year of college. There wasn’t anything appealing to me anymore. I felt old. I also felt like I HAD to reblog or post stuff I watched, otherwise I wasn’t a ‘real fan’. Obviously I learnt that it was complete nonsense and the arguments about who was a bigger fan drove me insane. It meant nothing.
- I moved on. When I started using tumblr, I had just started college and made a new group of friends who all used tumblr. If I hadn’t have met them, would I have been in the same position as I was? Would I have used tumblr? Probably not, or at least not in the same way. A huge part of my personality was due to the friends I made, so when we drifted apart, I drifted apart from that side of me as well. I lost the fangirl persona. I still loved the shows and movies, but didn’t need to express it in the same way.
I appreciated (and still appreciate) that some tumblr users use it as a creative springboard; to fangirl without judgement and to find cool new content, but to those who find themselves thinking the same sort of things that I did, get out whilst you still can. It’s a huge black hole and can suck up your energy and time.
In my mind, when I’m a pensioner I’m not going to care about my old tumblr blog. I might not even care about this one but at least this one is all my own work and I really enjoy writing these posts (at the moment).