It’s been over two weeks since my last post – I have been incredibly busy, and somewhat sociable. I’ve actually been out and spent time with real life people, including my beauty blogger friend Natalee! (We spent eight hours catching up on what we’d both been up to since I dropped out of university… that was about five years ago?) I’ve been helping my cousin get ready for her wedding next month, as well as finishing my training at the place I’m volunteering. It’s been hectic.
Amongst the welcome chaos, I found myself making a very random decision I never thought I would have to – mainly because it’s silly and small in comparison to some of the other things I’ve had to deal with over the years.
I deleted my Tumblr blog. If you don’t know what Tumblr is, then you’re a lucky person. If Twitter and Facebook had a baby, and Livejournal had a hand in bringing the baby up, the result would be Tumblr. It doesn’t have the density of blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger, but it has the social aspect that most sites would dream of. Whole communities and fandoms have been born on Tumblr, or continued from more shaky platforms.
I joined back in 2009, after a guy from my old Counter-Strike clan showed me his Tumblr page – I was terrible at Counter-Strike and was in this clan simply because I was female – and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I had not long joined Twitter too, so I was all over this micro-blogging thing. I set up my page and initially didn’t think much of it, followed a few friends online, that was it. It was only after I broke up with Manipulative Ex and regained my online freedom (once again, another story for another time) that I started posting and exploring the site. It was a lot of fun. I made friends, I shared stuff I liked, I made little posts about my life, it was my favourite website. It used to be a great place.
I can’t tell you when it started going downhill, because it was never on my radar initially. When I met my Other Half two years ago, he admitted to me that he had browsed my Tumblr in an attempt to see my interests. He told me not long ago that if he knew then what he knows now about the site, the fact that I even had a Tumblr would have put him off me due to the reputation it now has. What reputation is that, you might ask? Well, in my opinion, it has become a breeding ground for social justice warriors, self-diagnosed, self-righteous, self-obsessed individuals, and generally exhibits a lot of questionable behaviour from people, both young and older.
I have been insulted for many things out of my control – mainly my gender, skin colour, privilege (despite being born into poverty and living pay-day to payday means nothing when you’re white…) and somehow I have been called ‘ableist’ (discrimination against disabled people, for those not in the know) despite being disabled myself. And when not being personally insulted, I would see my friends being insulted. Films and TV shows are regularly dissected for things that might offend at least one group of people, video games and comics too.
I sound like I’m exaggerating, but – I’m really not. I have some amazing examples of Tumblr at its finest, courtesy of /r/TumblrInAction over on reddit. (URLs have been censored, because I don’t condone witch hunts)
If you want more examples, check out this album. All of this, this is like a few grains of sand on a mile-wide stretch of beach. It has become such an epidemic. I feel like there are people out there on the internet that are actively looking for something that will make them different from the majority, be it a different gender, sexuality or mental state. Self-diagnosis is another big problem. Now, don’t get me wrong, reading about conditions can be a good starting point in finding a possible diagnosis from a professional – hell, I thought I was borderline two years before I was diagnosed with it – but self-diagnosing without actually getting a diagnosis is dangerous. Furthermore, acting like you know more about mental health than a professional is frankly arrogant and incorrect.
It all started to impact on my own health. The mob mentality is a real thing on Tumblr – I am legion, for we are many. And it’s the many that will attack while the few keep quiet. It played on my paranoia and my anxiety, and sometimes it would cause me to split, turning into someone I really don’t like. It became very damaging. I used to log on and enjoy my time online, but that stopped a long time ago.
I couldn’t take anymore of the constant bullshit. It was a daily contest of who was the bigger victim, and I don’t need that in my digital life, which eventually spreads into my real life. I had been on that site for five and a half years. I had made some wonderful friends and saw some wonderful things – but I refuse to be associated with that cesspool of a site anymore. Quite a few of my friends have said they wish they could follow suit, but they have their own reasons for sticking around, and I respect that.
Tumblr, it was a pleasure knowing you at your best. I’m glad to leave you before you could get worse… if that’s even possible.