Using Tumblr: The Idiot’s Guide
On the first day, the technologically savvy gods said, “Let there be…. MySpace!”
On the second day, the technological gods woke up with hangovers and thought better of their earlier creation and so they said, “Let there be….. Facebook.” (And really, we can’t thank you enough!)
From there, the technological gods gave us Twitter. A social media platform that allowed us to follow all of our favorite stars, friends and frenemies. And on the seventh day (okay, I know I skipped a couple days here but there were parties and hookahs and lamb offerings and Beyonce-themed karaokes), opting to work instead of enjoying their day of rest… the gods gave us Tumblr.
In a maze of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Stumble, the weary brethren (myself, included) struggled to understand the meaning of the seventh creation. Tumblr? A place to…. tumble? An ode to the gymnasts? A home for floor routine inspired decor?
And as the world continued to grapple with the gods’ latest creation – a masterpiece of technology, another home for social media savvy wise (wo)men – we raised our monitors and shouted to our computers for answers!
“What exactly is Tumblr, and how the freak are we supposed to use it,” we cried out!
Now, let me share with you a personal anecdote. When I first heard about Tumblr, my best friend was calling me to explain that she had found a place – a mecca of sorts (if we’re keeping up with all of my awesomely bad mythology themes) – where she could house her thoughts and feelings. She explained to me that she was feeling really low recently and in a place that both physically and emotionally disconnected her from the rest of the world. And because I am super sophisticated, social media savvy and just all around awesome, I thought that to create my own account in order to look at hers. Genius right here.
I would receive emails that informed me that “so-and-so is now following you”. And immediately, I locked my windows. Following me? What the hell. What kind of internet site is this? I don’t need to be followed, I manage just fine on my own. So for a long time, I would just log on and stare at my friend’s page, hoping whoever was following me could not see through my closed blinds, scrolling through her recent updates. In April I received an embarrassing text from her basically asking why I had a tumblr if I was never going to use it. Now, on top of the stress of picking out what song will play at my funeral (one of these peeps following me is bound to have some success sooner or later and kill me), I’m embarrassed that my best friend has uncovered the meaning of life before me.
She answered the basic questions for me:
What is a Tumblr? An online community that shares photos, stories, quotes, links, videos, recipes, personal stories, and whatever the hell else you think the rest of the world would even be remotely interested in you. So clearly, my earlier notions of a safe-space for once-was gymnasts was way wrong.
Why are these people following me? And how do I follow them? You pick the people you want to follow. And no, Kylie, you idiot, they’re not really following you. They either know you or they hope to be interested in something that you post. You can pick from anything – vintage tumblrs, fashion tumblrs, food tumblrs, photographs, stories, literature, anything. You just search and follow people.
How do I make stuff appear? You reblog them. There are tabs that appear if you click on a photo you like, or on a post you like. You can ‘like’ it, you can comment on it, or you can reblog it. Tumblr is all about the things that YOU like and what YOU think represents your interests.
And there it suddenly was: all of the answers to this universe, the meaning of life, the purpose of my existence, all laid about before me by my best friend. God, talk about a prophet.
So if you’re eager like me to check out the most interesting people/photos/places/stories from all over the world, here are some of my favorite tumblrs to check out: this, this and this! And if you’re eager to begin your blogging career: Tumblr is F-R-E-E and a great place to upload your own content, search for interest people to follow and make a digital collection of all the things that interest, excite and captivate you!
And be not afraid, I go tumbling before you always!