This is an actual, legitimate question: Do people still use Tumblr? Is it, like, what the cool fifteen-year-olds use nowadays because it’s #retro, or has it gone the way of MySpace (sidenote: I HIGHLY recommend figuring out how to login to your old MySpace page; it’s like visiting a Museum of Shame, but in the very most entertaining of ways).
Some of you might that I started out on Tumblr way back when, and only made my way over to the current WordPress site a few months after starting Ramshackle Glam, when I decided I wanted to focus on more long-form posts, rather than just snapshots of my daily goings-on. This was, as it turned out, a solid move, because guess what was invented not long afterwards that would have immediately made a site like my former one obsolete?
Thaaaat’s right. Instagram.
My site has pretty much held to that model – less frequent, but longer-form posts – ever since, but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes miss the immediacy of the Tumblr Days. And Instagram really doesn’t fill that gap, because there is nothing immediate about a platform where people do things like download custom color overlays so as to have an across-the-board consistent aesthetic applied to photographs of their adorable shoes/dining rooms/children/sponcon.
Which brings me to IG Stories, and the reason they’ve held their position as My Favorite Social Platform for a solid three years now. When I started blogging, my primary content-generation method was to use my brand-new, rockin’ iPhone 3G to upload photos, quotes, and songs (and sure, sometimes actual writing) to my Tumblr feed maybe six to eight times a day.
Not everything about the early days of blogging was great – the absence of income, the rampant nondisclosure and the emphasis on “getting stuff” stand as salient examples – and I like think the work I do now ostensibly has more value, largely because I’ve been at this a long time and am not super interested in posting completely out-of-context scarf pictures, no matter how cute said scarf may be. But even so, I sometimes feel nostalgic for the silliness, the imperfectness, the lo-tech feel of that era. The photos I put up back then weren’t lit and filtered creations…they were just photos. Of whatever was happening.
And even though IG Stories have – of course – gotten more and more elaborate and less and less “here’s whatever’s going on right now,” I’ve personally avoided…well, caring very much about that. Is it a smart business plan, to refuse to evolve along with a platform? Nope! But call me old-fashioned: I love the feeling of having one little piece of a business theoretically built on authenticity and immediacy feel…you know…
Authentic. And immediate.
Which is all to say that I think the reason I enjoy Stories so much is that they let me swim around in what was fun about early-era blogging without having to actually be in my twenties again, because me not being in my twenties anymore is a really, really good thing for all involved.
Some recent OOTD-type posts from my Insta Stories, because OOTDs are always fun.