Oh wow! That’s so Tumblr!

I was going to start a new blog today. I started the page and everything and took a couple of pictures but then I started writing it and decided it was crap. It was preachy and dull. It was meant to be about my passion for vegetable boxes and buying meat by the half animal. Anyone who has ever eaten anything with me will know how I feel about buying meat by the half animal and how dedicated I am to vegetable box schemes, but half way through the first post I realised that it’s just boring. Who cares?

Then I went and read some stuff on the internet and got even more annoyed. I mean, what is it all for? This endless self promotion and marketing of our own lives? So many of us presenting our daily lives on social media and dressing it up to be ever so pretty and perfect.

It has become a standing joke that something hasn’t really happened until it’s on Facebook. No one is interested in buying a coffee that doesn’t look good enough to put on Tumblr and if your weekend isn’t documented in sepia tinged retro camera style images on instagram then frankly, you’re just not taking life seriously, are you?

It’s like this mass social delusion. I am guilty of it too. I don’t consider myself any better than the rest of us.  Last week I put a picture of my herb tray on Facebook and Twitter. My herb tray! I found it in the shed and it’s made of galvanised steel, how wonderfully Tumblr! I had used magnetic scrabble letters to spell out the names of the herbs. I think of it now and I hate myself for it. I don’t hate myself for having a galvanised steel herb tray or for using the scrabble letters to spell out the names of herbs. It looks lovely on my kitchen windowsill. I hate the fact that apparently looking lovely on my kitchen windowsill is no longer good enough. It has to be shared on the internet, too. It has to gather likes and shares and comments.


Look, I’ve done it again. I have put the bloody thing on the internet, again!

Now, ok, so it is my herb tray and who cares if I share pictures of it on the internet? It’s real isn’t it? It wasn’t a lie. I do actually own that herb tray and it does, is, right now, sitting on my kitchen window sill, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that, obviously, I only show you what I want you to see and it is woefully lame that I think my herb tray will enhance what you think of me.

We’ve always done this of course, it’s not a new idea, it’s just that once upon a time presenting your best side to the world meant cleaning your shoes and putting your best coat on. Now it means instagramming your organic pearled spelt risotto with beetroot and goats cheese (That’s what I am having for dinner tonight, heaven help me!) and making sure you do so using the right artisan bowl and retro cutlery. It means arranging and presenting every aspect of our lives as though we lived in a lifestyle shoot in The Guardian – Weekend.

Now’t wrong with wanting things to look pretty, though is there? Well, no, not in itself, but I suspect there are more sinister desires at play. I suspect that what we are really doing when we Tumblr our cupcakes or Facebook a snap of our new artfully scuffed shoes as they carry us along Shoreditch High Street, has very little to do with sharing our terribly interesting lives and a lot more to do with reassuring ourselves that we have remotely interesting lives in the first place.

3 thoughts on “Oh wow! That’s so Tumblr!

  1. I often wonder about the constant need to share things with everyone through social media…then I remember that back in the day we used to invite everyone over for slideshow presentations of our latest vacations or show them everything we’ve built around the house.

    Obviously, there’s something to be said about the more global nature of our social interations nowadays, but more than anything, I think there is a sense of pride that wants to be recognized which comes into play.

    And also…a lot of self-aggrandizing, I suppose 🙂 But really…we’re all just looking for attention, whether on the internet or in real life, aren’t we?

    Great post, thanks for sharing!


    1. Thanks. I suppose you’re right, we did all do it anyway, just usually in the privacy of our own homes and, I suspect, only with people we had at least a passing acquaintance with. I suppose what I am thinking is that we seem to view our lives as commodities to be packaged and promoted. We’re all becoming marketing experts and our product is ourselves and it has to have the right advertising campaign.


    2. Oh, I totally agree with you…somehow someone found a way to make money off those same things they had to force their friends over to get involved with and now all of us really really really want to jump right on that bandwagon.

      Granted, I do believe that there are many who just share because that’s just what they do, not necessarily looking for anyhting other than some sort of response from friends, but there are many who are looking to get as much attention as possible…

      I honestly believe the next 10 years should be interesting, from a social experiment point of view.

      Liked by 1 person

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