Curation as the new self-expression.

How strange that my first “real” post on my WordPress blog should be about Tumblr.

I’ve had Tumblr for over a year, I believe. I’ve had this WordPress blog for over two years, but it’s been an on-and-off relationship. I’ve followed many Tumblogs, and unfollowed my fair share. I’m fascinated with Tumblr because it has such a passionate following, many of whom are (aspiring, ha) artists. When I say aspiring artists I mean kids who love fashion, design, photography, music, etc. It really drives home the point of something I read the other day: Tumblr is emotional, whereas other platforms such as WordPress are rational. What does that mean?

Tumblr’s language (“Love, Tumblrbot”). The hearts. The reblogs. The followers. The Tumblr “celebrities” who post pictures and videos of themselves talking to no one (followers they’ve never met). The naked bodies of models. The never-ending sexual frustration of teens. Tumblr’s demographic is young. I’m 22—that’s old for Tumblr.

Maybe we’re just not as creative as we used to be. Maybe it’s just easier to share ideas. But there are many Tumblogs that I love—and all they do is reblog. Taking others’ photos, words, and music, and gathering them in one place to form a coherent expression of one person’s identity. Your personal “style,” via Tumblr I guess. It’s something new, because it’s a reflection of your personality, without any of yourself put into it. It creates a disconnect because you’re telling people what you like, or dislike, and they have to bridge the gap themselves to create their impression of you.

So your followers on Tumblr—they’re really your followers. They follow your taste, your ideas, your opinions. On fashion, on music, on art, on beauty, on sex. They reblog and spread those ideas. The speed and ease with they can do it is beautiful and terrifying at the same time, especially when you think about how young most Tumblrers are.

I can’t tell if the Tumblr generation is zombie or a whole new breed of creative.


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