Tumblr

The most prominent online community I can think of, though I’m quite biased as I visit it every day, is Tumblr. Tumblr goes beyond other social media cites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as an online community in a number of ways. For example, as opposed to most social media cites, most of your “friends”, or the people you follow, are not people you know. Tumblr users in my cases follow and are followed by, people who they have never met before and most likely will never meet, from almost all corners of the world. Or at least those with Internet access. On Tumblr, in the process of joining the site, the ask you to choose from a list of topics your personal interests. They then give you a large list of blogs to follow based upon their shared interest in the topics you chose. This is precisely what marks Tumblr out as a true community. You are not following people based upon who you know, therefore having to maintain the charade of your social media personality. On Tumblr you don’t have to be the person you want people in your home town or in your office to see you as, you can merely be yourself. Though Tumblr has the laughable memes, pop culture topics and shared vines that all social media cites have, it has more than that. People blog about things that you can learn from, sharing their knowledge and opinion on just about any topic imaginable. However this sharing of information as though it were fact has the liability of being potentially quite harmful to those who are easily swayed, especially as Tumblr is a place where political correctness is considered a topic of the upmost importance, which can often be taken too far by some, or ignored by others, a problem which tends to lead to a lot of backlash from the community in both cases.
Despite the liability of backlash from strangers on the other side of the world that you risk when blogging about a subject of debate, Tumblr is at its heart a community where one can find support. No matter what your interest or your background, you will find a sizable group of people similar to yourself, or those who share that same interest on Tumblr. Every fandom, no matter how obscure, had found a home or even a place to grow and expand on Tumblr. From Doctor Who fans (known as “Whovians”) to the remaining fans of a TV show which lasted one season and was then canceled in 2008. Tumblr has even become a community for those suffering from physical illnesses, especially those in hospitals who do not have the ability to go out and seek people like themselves to relate to. It has also become a prominent community and almost online support group for those suffering from mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and even scizifrenia and multiple personality disorders. All of these communities inhabit one site, where they exist in relative harmony. However, in spite of differing interests, all Tumblr users also exist as part of the greater Tumblr community, able to communicate and take part in the posts of people with interests and views different from their own, surpassing the boundaries set by standard social media sites. These reasons, I believe, set Tumblr apart as a true online community.

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