I’m about to make a huge confession, one that shocks and slightly disturbs even myself:
I have had a tumblr account since 2009. In other words, roughly five years.
I’ve given it up, come crawling back, followed and unfollowed as I’ve grown up. Yet here I am, still scrolling into my 20’s, checking it each day.
To explain how this revelation feels: have you ever binged on a TV series, then actually counted the amount of hours of your life you spent on it? Usually its a gasp-worthy, ungodly amount.
It wasn’t time wasted if you enjoyed it, right? That’s my hope, at least.
Just like Boyd questions, are we the ones using technology to make magic, or are we simply falling under its spell?
I puzzle this while I feel my eyes glaze over as I let the pictures scroll by. Picturesque Spanish sunsets, an pastel colored Monet painting, a Parks & Rec gif, pretty eye makeup, a Fleetwood Mac song, a Ronald Dahl quote, and so many clothes burn into my eyes for a slight second, quickly replaced by the next image in succession.
The utopian ideals are all there. A community that each can share their personal “aesthetic” with others, reveling what they want, being who they want, etc. Sometimes I look at my blog and find such inner peace, seeing a place with so many things I like or pictures I find pleasing, all in one place. My utopia.
But is it?
First off, my attention span is shot. I’m not positive tumblr is to blame, but it doesn’t seem like to far a leap to correlate five years of endless scrolling through images to my inability to focus on a non-moving computer screen for long.
Moreover, when I find myself being asked in surveys or job questionaires “what do you like?” I sometimes will browse through my tumblr if I feel especially stumped.
Have I been told what to like? Worse, do I need a social media site to remind me of the things I like?
A surprising voice reiterated some fears I had about this and other similar blogging platforms, rapper Drake, in an interview with Source magazine:
“I’m really scared for my generation, you know. The thing that scares me most is Tumblr. I hate what Tumblr has become….Instead of kids going out and making their own moments, they’re just taking these images and living vicariously through other people’s moments. It just kills me. Then you’ll meet them and they’re just the biggest turkey in the world. They don’t actually embody any of those things. They just emulate. It’s scary man, simulation life that we’re living. It scares me.”
Is this the end of individual experiences? Will I constantly be vying between a state of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and my need to stay connected, not missing one piece of media that passes my screen?
I hope not. Keeping my need to tumblr (i’m assuming this would be the verb form) strictly to bedtime allows me to continue living my life and then maybe blog about it the next evening.
As for everyone else, I guess only time will tell. Ask me in another five years.