Why Tumblr is a Happy, Shiny Place (for People Who Like Cats and Equality)

I’ve never made it a secret that I love the hell out of Tumblr. Originally, I was incredibly resistant to getting involved with it. First of all, it’s a bit confusing to learn the layout, you can be crucified for screwing up the difference between a post and a reblog, and trying to respond to people who comment on your posts (or reblogs) sometimes involves voodoo. But after the learning curve, I find that I really enjoy this social media platform, mostly because it’s full of warm fuzzies, based, at least, on the people I follow.

Aw, you thought I was going to actually link you to my Tumblr? Haha, you're adorable. I defend my Tumblr territory with my life and typing fingers.

My main experience with the wonder that is Tumblr is all fandom-related, whether it’s the TV show Supernatural (with whom I have a love/hate relationship), Avengers (if you haven’t seen Avengers, who even are you), or other things I associate with stuff I like, such as: funny gifs where tiny turtles can’t eat cherry tomatoes, tasty bacon and brown sugar recipes, memes, one-liner GPOYs (Gratuitous Picture of Yourself, typically used when something said or seen represents how you see yourself), and stick-figure comic strips. Tumblr is heavily gif-based and generally a fast-paced, fun place to be, as long as you don’t insult someone’s OTP or ship, as seen in Dan Howell’s YouTube vlog.

Also, Tumblr is filled up with people who support LGBT rights, female empowerment and equality, universal healthcare, anti-bullying, and typically a leftist view on social issues. For someone like me, who supports all these things, I am happy. When JCPenney released a gay-friendly ad and the general populace freaked out, I turned to Tumblr to help make things right again. After Kraft made its gay pride-oriented Oreo ad, Tumblr users immediately spotted the difference between Tumblr comments and Facebook comments on the issue. How can you not want to be a part of a digital movement that’s such a huge proponent of equality? It’s a social media platform, designed to bring awareness to social concerns and issues in a social way. It’s fun, easy, and powerful.

I could present both sides of this issue and discuss them rationally, but it’s been a long week and I’d rather send all Barkers and Bark readers to Tumblr to check out the most commonly-used tags, then come back and tell me how many hours you spent browsing reblogs of social justice issues and gifs of that thing Tom Hiddleston does with his tongue between his teeth when he laughs.

2 Responses to “Why Tumblr is a Happy, Shiny Place (for People Who Like Cats and Equality)”

  1. Laura C. says:

    The most commonly used tag is “LOL.” That is awesome.

    There has been so much written about the positive social justice/true community building going on behind social media by people much, much smarter than me (and now, Jen too!) but I will just say it makes me super happy. I feel that way about the blogs I follow, so many feminist/sex-positive/politically aware stuff is going on by people I can relate to and I LEARN THINGS and THINK ABOUT THINGS and engage in cool discussions with other people who are learning things and thinking about things too.

    At least now I do, because I finally got over my fear and quit lurking on at least some of the blogs I read. It’s scary.

  2. christopher. says:

    I have to ask as a Tumblr n00b, how is commenting handled, really? Is it basically reblogging something, adding your comment, and hoping the person sees it in their notes?

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