November 08, 2011

Let's talk about teens, Tumblr and Twitter...

If it was this time in 2009, and someone gave me their notion that Twitter and Tumblr would, one day, become a site that would bring Facebook to its death knell, I would have naively believed them. Turns out these sites grew slowly in 2010, but became parallel outlets to express ourselves alongside Facebook.

The growth of these sites, I think, came from people's internal desires to vaguely express their innermost desires, without having to broadcast it to a massive, frequently-attentive Facebook audience. The notion to make Tumblr's and Twitter's was not to replace Facebook, but to filter the stream the content that is posted on Facebook. That all started with the rise of people talking about the "Facebook scene" outside of website, and made actions one does on Facebook as critical as actions done in reality.


In fact, for my grade (high school class of 2011) it has become ever so important to look extremely slick and sly on Facebook, because our friends that live hundreds of miles away, can see us on Facebook every day, but cannot see ourselves everyday in reality. Sure there's Skype, but let's face it, we would get boring Skyping someone every single day.

Because of this constant need to look smug, and quick-witted, it leaves no room to vent our frustrations, not unless we want to be cleverly or tritely trolled by our sarcastic friends, or if we want people to scan the post, do nothing at that moment, but gossip about it the next day. It leaves no room for aggression, anger and frustration. Consequently, people have turned the personal semi-frustrations away from Facebook and fumed it all over Twitter and Tumblr.

And why not? Essentially, Twitter allows one to scream into the dark, not have to worry about consequence, nor a concerned response, while at the same time, makes it easy for them to vent knowing someone might be listening to them. It's picture-perfect of a place to post rage-ridden tweets and blog posts. One can limit who sees their tweets, and tweet to a far smaller audience, making it easily to aimlessly vent about someone or something. The best part of the process has to be the fact that your tweet is easily buried under an influx of incoming tweets. Additionally, it is the best place to be passive aggressive; if you do not allow someone to follow you, or you do not follow them back, there is no hard feelings felt, primarily because it is seen as Twitter, and not Facebook. It is a secondary site just to see blurbs about people, so the ones you follow are more about the topics you like, rather than the people you know.

Tumblr, might even in this day and age be tertiary. All I've seen it is a site for girls to post random posts about love and shopping, or their love for shopping in a heap of photos illustrating just that. Obviously that can be an incredibly arrogant generalization, so I have to include that sentence in order to prevent that one hardcore reader from seeing this post and slashing me down for my presumption of the site. That being said, lets move to dudes (okay girls do this too). Apart from snobby, egotistic bloggers like myself, I've just seen Tumblr as a site to nab some pics to post on Facebook walls they find relevant, yet funny (again, showing wit). Then you have the artsy people who use it as a portfolio.

To sum it up, Facebook is the place to show your wits when taking lyrical status updates too literally, to name an example. Twitter is to angrily vent about being upset that your friend cannot grab lunch with you, and well, that might be it. Tumblr is the spot to connect with your imaginative self, and to feel like a hipster-wannabe. Internet. Defined.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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