On That Time I Broke Up With Tumblr (Which is Right Now)

I deleted my Tumblr account today.

It’s something I’d been thinking about doing for a while now. For a period of time — significantly in times of distress — I consumed Tumblr endlessly as a source of comfort and socialization. I felt fairly close to people on Tumblr until I would disappear, either due to circumstance or because I’m chronically behind on most TV shows. I would realize that while I liked these people, and while I felt a kindness for them, we didn’t seem to have a common bond outside of “reblogs the same sort of stuff.” The people with whom I did have a bond, I had on other social networks.

Also, a lot of the social issue conversation I have is no longer limited to Tumblr. It’s permeated into the outside world, into real life and newspapers and onto Facebook, where I can argue more transparently with people who barely like me.

I’m really glad Tumblr existed in my life when it did. But by now I’d realized that it doesn’t fit into my life the way it used to, and I never really felt the pull to use it — even when I was actively checking my dashboard.

But why delete it? 

I had two major reasons for not letting it stagnate.

1. It was an archive of my life in the weirdest way. I used Tumblr as a sort of public diary — like LJ before enacting a friend’s lock. I felt a safeness in it because no one I really knew was on Tumblr, and a lot of my aching personal posts were buried under piles of reblogged content. But some of that content simply… doesn’t need to be.

I’m not trying to erase history. I’ll happily share most of the information about my mental health, relationships, sexuality, etc, that one might have gotten from reading my Tumblr. But having it all sitting there, stagnant and out-of-date, bothered me. This feels like cleaning out the fridge, and it feels good.

2. I read once that as a person with an Internet persona (in this case, a writer), it’s better to not have a certain type of social media account than to have one that’s stagnant and ill-used. As someone working toward someday having a modest fan base, I’d rather be easier to access on a smaller number of platforms than have an abandoned platform full of out-dated information.

It’s still sort of weird.

The last few years of my life have been transitory in a significant number of ways, and I always feel really adrift when I try to reconnect with myself. I feel like I’m going through a normal sort of developmental process for my age (sentences I did not think I’d write about being 28) — I don’t think I’m a special snowflake over here.

I’m no longer the person I was when I needed Tumblr. I’m also no longer the person I was when I used to get drunk and think about how it might be better if I drown — so I guess it’s not all bad, changing and shit.

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