Down the Tumblr Rabbit Hole

I like to think I’m so cool, so hip, so now when it comes to social media. Turns out, I’m fast approaching Grandma status, and I didn’t even know it.

Case in point: Tumblr.

My three teenage daughters are all active on Tumblr, and my blogging mama heart sings when I see them fretting over their page design, squeeing when they get new followers, and talking about their Tumblr “friends” as if they’ve ever met in real life. THAT, I get – all of it. That’s totally my world with my own blog and social media endeavors.

But then when I actually spend time on Tumblr, or even to listen to my daughters talk about it for more than 10 minutes, it’s clear I haven’t got a clue how it all works.

I do know what a GIF is – a sort of spastic loop of video, typically meant for humor or entertainment.

Please don’t hate me for including this. It’s almost making me dizzy just looking at it!

I do know that my daughters identify with the “Fandom” folks on Tumblr, being that my girls are obsessed with all things Harry Potter, Supernatural, Doctor Who, etc.

Map of Tumblr

And now I know that OTP means “One True Pairing,” a fanciful practice where Tumblr-ers (Tumblr-ites? what are they called?) imagine fairly random fictional couples, like Hiccup (from How To Train Your Dragon) and Merida (from Brave), and Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians) and Rapunzel (Tangled). <–known, I guess, as the “Big Four” in Fandom. Any wonder this all sounds like Greek to me?

Deviant Art Hiccup and Merida

Deviant Art – a site nearly as confusing to me as Tumblr – has some great fan art of these OTPs.

What I’m coming to realize is that I don’t need to understand the hows or whys or even whats of Tumblr, I just need to appreciate that it gives my daughters a place to connect with others, express themselves, and explore different perspectives. That’s why I got into social media, after all, so why shouldn’t they have a space online to do the same?

Do you use Tumblr? Or do you have a child who does? What do you think?

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