If you are between the ages of 13 and 18, you have undoubtedly heard about or participated in the microblogging revolution known as Tumblr. Launched in mid-2007, this website makes it super-simple to create your own page with your own URL, theme, and blog title within minutes. There's even an ask box that you can add to your page which people can use to ask you questions or send you fan mail (yes, that's a thing). You can then follow other blogs, like and reblog photos that you find interesting or appealing, or simply stick to blogging your own material.
I've had a Tumblr all through high school. Through my experiences with this blogging platform, I have observed several different Tumblr personas, or "cliques," if you will. I have since categorized them into three main personalities: summer, rebel and hipster.
The "summer blog" is perhaps the easiest to identify. These are often filled with photos of beaches, girls in bathing suits, vintage jean shorts, and brightly colored friendship bracelets -- basically everything that has to do with being an average teenage girl. I've found that this clique is fairly unified; they're always doing follow-for-follows or promo-for-promos for each other.
The "angsty rebel" is an interesting counterpoint to the summer blog, and my personal favorite of the three. This teen blogger is obsessed with all things socially taboo: insanely dyed hair, multiple piercings, grunge music and all that good stuff. Personally, I suppose it's cathartic to post images of people who are so different in order to feel less different (if that makes any sense).
The "hipster" is a fascinating phenomenon of our generation. This persona goes beyond just the reblogged photos, which typically consist of blurry polaroids and grainy photos of nature. The personality of the hipster includes an eclectic music taste, cynical perspective on life, and above all, a disdain for the mainstream. I definitely went through a hipster phase during freshman year, but I'm not that pretentious anymore.
Obviously, this post doesn't even come close to describing all the blog types out there: If you do have a Tumblr, you probably identify with more than one (if any) of the aforementioned "cliques" rather than just one. But it's still really interesting to see how the stereotypical high school cliques have translated onto the Internet as well. There are also parts of Tumblr culture that transcend blog types -- almost everyone on Tumblr loves animated gifs, anything to do with the 1990s and photos of cute animals. There's also an inherent obsession with movies and TV shows such as Harry Potter, Mean Girls, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (or any John Hughes film), old Disney animations, Beavis and Butthead, Boy Meets World, and the list goes on. I think that this probably goes back to a fear-of-growing-up complex that most teens share, since most of the people who blog on Tumblr are high schoolers.
At the end of the day, I think what amazes me the most about Tumblr is its ability to connect people from all around the world. You could be a 13-year-old girl from Melbourne who loves Green Day or a 19-year-old college student from Miami, but ultimately, you're still logging on to the same website every single day searching for some type of affirmation or acceptance.
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