Tumblr.com is a very popular blogging platform for both teens and young adults. Tumblr is a positive example of an online community because it exists to be an online community and networking site built for users to interact with each other. Users can make personal connections and relationships based on similar interests, such as fandoms, books, politics, etc. It’s positive because users can initiate and maintain these relationships, or on the other hand, leave the website whenever they desire. Members can seek out specific content that they desire which personalizes the experience they have online. I’ve used Tumblr for probably five or six years now and I’ve made some very close and important friends that I talk to nearly every day.
Members benefit from this online community because of its personalized structure and communication platforms. Users can choose to communicate publicly or privately, depending on their preference, or not communicate at all. It’s a great platform to build portfolios as well, so those who don’t want to form friendships with other users but want an easy platform to share their work can do that as well. It also helps inform people about current events and functions like other social media with sharing news and other information.
Tumblr can be challenging as well. With any online community, there is always the risk of cyberbullying and a negative community experience. However, users have the option to block others AND report to the staff at Tumblr to help create a safer space. Any social media platform has the risk of cyberbullying and sometimes Tumblr can be more prone to it, but the options and services to reduce this kind of communication are easy to use as well. I also think that Tumblr strongly is associated with millennial culture, so many non-users don’t see the value of the communication/important discussions that take place on this platform. Of course some parts of Tumblr are trivial and dumb, but there are also a whole lot more important and valuable aspects, such as mental health support, sexual abuse support, and gender identity/sexuality support.
In my own personal opinion, I think Tumblr is a great way to connect with others and form friendships with people you may never meet. I mentioned that I have used Tumblr for quite a few years and have friendships as well – I’ve even been able to meet a few of them in person. Sometimes people don’t value online friendships or relationships because they think they’re not as substantial and built on false identities.