Bloggers tumble their way toward self-expression

Eliza Goldberg, Staff Writer

It’s a way to express yourself. It’s a way to cater to different audiences. It’s a hobby that has been taken up by millions across the globe.

In recent years, blogs have illuminated more and more computer screens, in part due to the creation of Tumblr, a site that David Karp founded in 2007. According to the website, “Tumblr is 214 million different blogs, filled with literally whatever.”

With Tumblr, users can post their own photos or text, or they can “reblog” other bloggers’ content, along with fully customizing their own blog appearance.

Tumblr user Hallie Spear ’18 can’t get enough of the site. “[Tumblr] speaks my mood, and my blog is covered with stuff I like. It’s like being able to make a web page that is personalized to me.”

However, creativity isn’t Tumblr’s only appeal.

Ashton Dedona ’17, a long time Tumblr user, said, “I love Tumblr because I love looking at all the pictures. They give me cool ideas [specifically] of pictures to take, like scenery of beachy kinds of things.”

Not only can a Tumblr user develop new ideas from other users, but there is also an aspect of self expression that isn’t always available on other forms of social media. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, Tumblr bloggers frequently have a wider range of audiences than just people they know personally. In fact, many people even choose to keep their blog private from their friends. Users can portray their thoughts and feelings through pictures and words without the pressure of having to share it with anyone they know.

Frequently, Tumblr users also choose to have themes to their blog content. In her Tumblr blog, Jodie Baris ’16 expresses her passion for science. “My blog is mostly about cool science facts and science-related humor” Baris said. “I like Tumblr because it’s relaxing and has a lot of funny content, [including] Bill Nye [jokes which are] everywhere on Tumblr.”

However, the room for self expression can end up being more or less a double-edge sword. Nick Ribolla ’16 is unsure how he feels about Tumblr.

“On one hand, it’s great that so many people can express their opinions in a way that isn’t monitored or censored at all,” Ribolla admitted. “On the other hand, people take blogs as if they were news sources sometimes, which they’re not.”

When reading and blogging, users need to remember that content is frequently someone’s opinion, and not always factual news. Blogging is great exposure to other people’s thoughts, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.

In the words of Ribolla, “Just because someone on the internet says something, it does not mean it’s true, or that anyone is obligated to live by an arbitrary set of rules by someone sitting in their bedroom on a Macbook.”