Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The New Black: There’s a new networking blog site and it’s a godsend for lesbians, says Beau Jackson

I first discovered Tumblr through a friend. On a Facebook status she had posted a link to an article on her Tumblr page and, liking the creativity and freedom of the posts I saw, I decided to create my own ‘tumblelog’.

Like any other blog or social networking site you first have to create a name for your page, and from there you can begin to post pictures, text, music and videos…but then, who’s going to see it?
As my friend did, you could always post links to your tumblelog on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but Tumblr is not meant to be an extension of the network you have going with your friends. Instead it is an anonymous outlet for you, viewed by people with the same interests as you, who live in different places all over the world. These people are your followers.

Your followers are people who choose to receive a stream of your posts on what is called their ‘dashboard’, better known as a homepage. You in turn receive your own stream of posts from people you choose to get regular updates from, as with Facebook and Twitter. However, Tumblr avoids all those annoying updates from the clearly very fun party people who log in just to say “9iii’,m sdos drijmk!” on a night out.

Over my time on Tumblr I have gathered together a stream of people that seem largely of the lesbian persuasion.
Seeing the content they post and their popularity I asked a handful of them if the self professed “easiest way to blog” site lives up to it’s name and, more importantly, if they share my feeling that it is particularly ideal for the LGBT community to express themselves and receive support.

All of the users asked agreed that they post content without a fear of being judged or discriminated against – result! Still, that is not to say that prejudice doesn’t happen on Tumblr. We don’t live in a ‘perfect world’ and so we can’t expect any part of it to be without prejudice and discrimination. When such an instance of tunnel vision does occur on the site, there is, as pointed out by Claire of thenameofasong a ready-made community on hand to fight against it, probably much more so than the support you may receive from Facebook, as the people following your tumblelog generally share the same interests and opinions as you do.

The inevitability of this situation is then that users of Tumblr will strike up new friendships with each other, particularly useful for, for example, a 16- year-old lesbian living in a small town without a gay community. Allison of the blog itsbeendaysnow told me how she had met her current girlfriend through Tumblr, a relationship that probably wouldn’t have happened without the site, and others told me of their friendships with people across the globe. The same can be said in conjunction with other social networking sites, but with Tumblr there’s so much more freedom with the people you meet and it’s a lot easier to quickly find someone with the same interests.

It should go without saying that Tumblr provides a great support network particularly for younger people concerned about their sexuality. Again, the people asked unanimously agreed that they have witnessed or they themselves have helped teens with questions about sexuality. Candace of FYLL commented that her Tumblr famous blog had not only made young girls feel comfortable with their sexuality but that it also “made them LOVE being a part of this community”.

And so, it’s safe to say that the ‘Tumblr family’ is going to keep on growing. But here’s hoping that the site remains a relatively prejudice free and supportive unit, where people can share experiences, fears and ideas freely.



8 comments:

  1. This article is amazing. I love how you're trying to spread the love of Tumblr. It's a really accepting place. I have found so much happiness there and made great friends.

    If anyone is interested, I'm a fellow lesbian on Tumblr, and you can follow me here: www.rainbowballz.tumblr.com

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  2. This article is amazing (+2).
    And I guess we all were missing a place to express ourselves, freem from rocks thrown at our faces.

    And if you ever find a bully in tumblr, don't worry. There will be THOUSANDS of people to defend you.

    If anyone is interested: www.pants-onfire.tumblr.com

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  3. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

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  4. 好的開始並不代表會成功,壞的開始並不代表是失敗............................................................

    ReplyDelete

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