Against all odds and rumors, the social media site Tumblr is still alive and thriving. Some users may have created an account at 14 years old and promptly deleted it 2 years later, but some of us never left. When Elon Musk bought out Twitter, a lot of people decided to go back to Tumblr to avoid any changes he might make to the platform, and others were rightfully intimidated by the strange culture curated on the website. Tumblr can be a lot to handle for someone who has never been on the website. But don’t worry, as an experienced tumblrina, I’m here to give you a step-by-step guide to navigating this strange site.
So, you just made a Tumblr account. What now? On Tumblr, the algorithm is so bad it might as well be nonexistent – in fact, most people on Tumblr would recommend turning off the algorithm completely. This is an entirely self-curated site; the only posts you should see are from the people that you follow.
But who should you follow on Tumblr? That depends on the person. Tumblr is a bunch of small communities stacked together under a trenchcoat calling itself a social media site. However, there are a few common blogs that are beloved by all. The first blog you should follow is the Tumblr staff blog, not to be mistaken with staffs-secret-blog. If you’re looking for classic Tumblr memes and the most popular posts then follow hellsite-hall-of-fame. Pukicho and glumshoe are Tumblr icons for the ages and must-follow blogs. And of course, there are the two celebrities that Tumblr people actually like: Neil Gaiman (neil-gaiman) and Lynda Carter (reallyndacarter).
Even with the starter blogs, Tumblr still is going to feel a bit impersonal until you find blogs that fit your interests. No two Tumblr accounts will look alike. I personally follow a lot of scene, gyaru, emo, cartoon, and art blogs. But those are just the things I like. If you like photography, check out the photography tag for a while and follow some blogs you like. If you like a certain show, follow some fan blogs. Soon your Tumblr will be bustling with activity! And eventually, you might even make some mutuals, just don’t be shocked by how ride-or-die tumblrinas are for their mutuals.
But wait – don’t get too comfortable! You have to learn about Tumblr etiquette. Tumblr users don’t take too kindly to outsiders. They have even made it a personal challenge to scare off any Twitter users looking to flee to the site. So, if you don’t want to be blocked – or worse – ran off the site, here are some basic things you should know.
You have to customize your blog, even if it’s just changing your profile picture. Tumblr has a major bot problem and empty blogs are usually how users can tell if they aren’t real people. Never use your full name on Tumblr; it’s considered an anonymous site. You don’t have to keep your identity a secret, but if you Google yourself your Tumblr should not come up. Never trust anything that is said on this website. Tumblr is not a news site, in fact, most people will actively misinform you as a joke. That isn’t to say there aren’t people telling you the truth, just take everything with a grain of salt.
So, yes, Tumblr does in fact still exist, and we are a thriving community of people holding knives to each other’s throats. If I haven’t scared you off from joining our lovely, horrible community then I will gladly welcome you to the family. I would tell you the name of my Tumblr blog, but that would be against the rules ;).