… in a way tumblr fools users into thinking themselves into a more personal relationship than is real with the people they’re following.
I mean, think of it this way. People follow you - maybe you don’t always follow them. But this website (bless it, except for the shitty parts) has a great community feel to it. You post stuff, it gets seen. It gets liked, maybe reblogged. You feel like you’re in a close circle of friends - your stuff shows up on your dash alongside your followed people. It’s like a personal circle of friends basically endlessly IM-ing each other.
So, of course, sometimes people post cat photos, pretty aesthetic goats licking minerals underwater, whathaveyou. The expected reaction to that is… about what you’d expect.
Imagine seeing a goat underwater in a boat full of people you don’t really know. You shout and point: GOAT! LOOK AT THIS FUCKING GOAT CRAVING SCUBA DIVING!
Everyone looks. Everyone laughs/oohs/aahs. The reaction is acceptable, anticipated.
Now, sometimes people post personal and semi-personal things. Things like sharing stories that might be from their private life. Complaints about hardship. Rants. Things like the kind that you would usually see in a text at 3 AM from a close friend who is usually out like a light at 10PM.
But they’re NOT private. They’re visible to everyone who chooses to click a follow button. There’s no friend-application process. There’s no notification you get that pops up and says: THIS PERSON WANTS TO FOLLOW YOU. DO YOU WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO READ THAT STORY ABOUT HOW YOU CRIED YOURSELF TO SLEEP IN THE SCHOOL BATHROOM AND GOT THE COPS CALLED ON YOU ON ACCIDENT?
Now, you might say “well, if that’s what they’re worried about, then just DON’T post those things.”
But let me stop you.
Tumblr is different this way, but it doesn’t mean it’s BAD. This kind of oversharing has led to a lot of good things - heartfelt things. Discussions of gender identity, mental illness, sexuality. Because it’s culturally acceptable on tumblr to bare your soul more than on, say, facebook, we’ve had a great deal more initiated discussion about all of the above. Sure, there are assholes who take full advantage of these privacy holes, but that’s what makes them assholes.
I guess where I’m going with all of this is…
Just because you follow someone doesn’t mean that they want you to personally comment on their private life. You’re following THEM - they’re not always looking over their shoulder and smiling at you encouragingly. Sometimes, they’re just at the front of a large group of people they don’t even know very well, and they’re really not sure what those people intend to do, or why they care so much, or what they’re going to reply with next.
The people who follow me are pretty much great. They are polite and friendly - and I appreciate that beyond belief. They comment on my private life sometimes, but in such a respectful manner that I can see that they realize that border is there - and they’re just trying to be supporting, not invasive. There are a lot of you that I’ve also gotten significantly closer with over my time here.
But just to be brief:
The follow button is not an invitation to give a person life advice, barge in like you know about them and their circumstances. It’s just the act of opening a person’s diary. If you write all over the pages because they didn’t hide it well enough, they’re not at fault. You’re just an asshole.
Merle Ambrose Emails Leaked AGAIN (December Edition)!!!!!!!!!!!
Stop playing damn Christmas music in the commons - Cyrus Drake 7:10 AM
Why are students havig their ibex pets lick minerals? - Lydia Greyrose 7:00 AM
New Years Eve Celebration in the Commons?? I cannot wait for the fireworks - Falmea 6:45 AM
Death students keep killing Christmas trees! - Moolinda Wu 6:15
Classroom?? >:( - Arthur Westerfield - 6:00 AM
-24 Women have viewed your profile in December - Avalon Dating - 5:50 AM
USE PROTECTION ASSEMBLY DATE? IT IS IMPORTANT TO CAST A TOWER SHEILD - Greyrose 12/21/14
Re: Plz remind life students to not cast mistletoe - To Moolinda Wu
Why still so many drunk students??? - Cyrus Drake - 12/19/14
Five Senior Citizen Homes In Your Area - Falmea - 12/18/14
Rates of students who have fallen in the hole where the death school was has increased 420 percent - Malorn Ashtorn - 12/17/14
When will we erase the Moolinda Woohoo that the Death students wrote on Blossom? -Moolinda Wu - 12/11/14
AMBROSE PLZ TELL ME WHAT IS MAD COW DISEASE? - Moolinda Wu - 12/11/14
Number of homosexual students who have fallen off the Grizzleheim rainbow bridge while making out has decreased by 69% - Bjorn Ironclaw 12-10-14
Can Cyrus and I go on a trip to promote applying to Ravenwood in Mooshu. Also book us in the same hotel room, you know, to save crowns…. - Diego The Duelmaster - 12/10/14
Purchase Discard Space now - iTunes - 12/10/14
CLASSROOOOM - Arthur Westherfield -
BAZAAR 40% OFF ALL HOUSING ITEMS - 12/6/14 Elik Silverfist