Extra Credit The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens

I just finished reading “The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens” by Elspeth Reeve. The article told about the growth of tumblr and how many kids under the age of 18 were actually able to make large amounts of money by simply posting jokes on this website. Initially I was very proud that tumblr was able to have such popularity. While I don’t have a tumblr myself, many friends of mine do and I see many of the posts through Facebook. I respected that social media in that it was made simply to offer people a chance to express themselves without forcing them to expose their real believes to those around them in fear of being judged. I was amazed to find out however, that certain people were able to gain sponsors from their popularity and earn money through this system. The possibilities are exiting, however I feel as though it kind of robs the site from its true purpose, and that is to be able to connect with others and show people that there are people who feel the same way. By showing viewers that their “social awkwardness” is relatable, tumblr allows for a sense of safety and comfort. I feel as though putting a price on this experience cheapens it, and that not everything should be made for a profit. Initially, I found the stories of Pizza, Lilley, and Greenfield amusing, however it kind of bothered me later on when I found out that the two “nerds” as the author called them, found things they thought were relatable online and posted about it, rather than actually relating to the situation themselves. It’s disappointing to me that they changed their posts and structures for the approval of others, not only the content, but the actual structure by learning to make the second line longer. Writing should be natural, and for the writer, not manipulated to evoke the most responses from the audience. Additionally they responded to “hate”posters because they received more responses from them than “loyal”posters. On top of this, they purposely included typos in their works to create an uproar and gain more popularity. I find it ridiculous that people now think that it’s popular to strive on “awkward social situations”. This style has become so popular that many people often pretend to have those issues simply to stay within the crowd when they really don’t have them at all. Literally, insecurities are now the social trend. How the times change. I myself did not gain any ideas from this article, I will continue to avoid technology and social media like the plague and will learn how to make my money elsewhere, rather than trying to feed off of gaining likes and the approval of others for the rest of eternity.

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