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The Here And Now
morgandawn
morgandawn
Reblog: Why It Is Not Surprising That There Are Old People On Tumblr, and Why We Are Surprised By It
plaidadder posted:

I don’t know how the whole debate about the X-Files’ original demographic got started, so it would be foolish for me to enter into it. But I have been interested to see the information going around about tumblr’s actual demographic breakdown, and to discover that the percentage of people on tumblr under the age of 18 is comparatively small.

I’m 46. I can tell you why I’m on tumblr, and why it makes sense to me that a lot of people in my age range or slightly younger are on it. And yet I too had the impression, when I first signed on, that tumblr was basically a teenagers’ site, and quite frankly felt very weird about that at first. I’m going to talk about what ‘social media’ (we were not calling it that then) was like back in the 1990s when we first started using it, and why I think tumblr replicates some aspects of that experience, and how and why I think tumblr creates the impression that its main demographic is 13-18 year olds. This is all subjective opinion and you don’t have to believe any of it. But you know, old people, we are always trying to share our wisdom. We can’t help it. I know it’s annoying.

Keep reading

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For everyone who says that there is no good textual meta on tumblr, I point to the above essay which touches on so many issues, including the perception of age in fandom and tumblr demographics  I quote some excerpts below, but the essay deserves its own entire read:

tumblr is attractive to me partly because it replicates some of those old-fashioned pre-Facebook modes of interaction. Most people on tumblr use pseudonymous handles. Most profile pictures are of something other than the user herself, and usually come from whatever thing the user is a fan of. The same user can set up multiple blogs under multiple pseudonyms. And you can post as much text as you want. It’s true that unless you lead with an image, a lot of people won’t read your text posts because they want to be able to know what fandom they’re about before they invest in reading the actual words, and that’s fair. It also incorporates some features that we all wished we’d had back in the day, including a means of keeping track of who’s reading your stuff. ….

It is also, of course, much newer in its overwhelming preference for images (moving and static) and in the reblogging function (this was not a thing back in the day; the only way to circulate content was to attach it or incorporate it into an email). And when you first sign up it is really difficult to figure out how to have a conversation on it. The new udpate, of course, makes that even more difficult.Anyway. So it makes perfect sense to me that there are a lot of people from my generation of internet users on tumblr…..

…..Most of us who are old on tumblr aren’t here because tumblr recruited us. We’re here because this is where fandom went, and so we follow the fandom. ….. I think it’s great that tumblr is intergenerational. Fandom always has been. And there will probably always be some friction between generations; but we’ll all get through it. We all have a lot to learn from each other.“ [A Dreamwidth post with comment count unavailable comments | Post or read on Dreamwidth| How to use OpenID]

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