orlansky: Seen in Times Square.

Friday, December 11th, 2015


Seen in Times Square.

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how i use tumblr

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

this is weirdly idiosyncratic, and unlikely to be interesting to anyone but me.

adding a cut for sanity.

i go up and down in terms of my addiction. lately it’s been pretty strong. i usually check tumblr last thing before i go to sleep, and first thing in the morning on waking up, before i even get out of bed. i’m embarrassed to admit that.

the first thing i usually check is my inbox (since the tumblr app doesn’t flag new messages, and my preferred still-in-bed device is an ipad mini, so i’ll miss new messages if i don’t look for them). if i have a new message, that’s the best thing.

the second thing i check is the notifications. a like is nice. a comment is better. a reblog is better still. a reblog with commentary is the best. a follow can also be really nice (but see below). if i’ve recently posted something that’s getting a lot of notes, i feel good about that all day. “a lot of notes” for me is, like, 10. i’m embarrassed to admit that.

it used to bum me out if i spent a lot of time on a post and then it got hardly any notes. these days that doesn’t bother me as much. i just mentally shrug and move on. it was important to me. it doesn’t have to be important to anyone else.

when i say, “spent a lot of time on a post,” i’m talking multiple hours (though again, not so much lately). i’m embarrassed to admit that.

if someone i don’t recognize shows up in the notes, especially if they are a new follower, i’ll go check out their blog. if it’s a spammy commercial site or porn blog the follow no longer means anything, except i still count it in the vague follower-count-related sense of self-worth i carry around. my current follower-count-related sense of self-worth is at 642.

early on in my use of tumblr i found porn blogs interesting. not for that reason, necessarily, but just for “what on earth is going on?” reasons. these days, not so much. by which i mean, not at all. still, i’m embarrassed to admit that.

sometimes when checking out unrecognized users who’ve reblogged or followed me i find someone really interesting. i get excited about that. when that happens i’ll follow back. i wonder sometimes how much of that is me being in a certain mood. i mean, if i’d come across that person at a different time, maybe i wouldn’t have found them interesting at all. maybe it’s just that the caffeine has kicked in and suddenly EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.

once i’m done looking at the notes, i look at my dashboard. i currently read everything on my dash. when i’m reading in the morning i’ll read back until i see the posts i read before going to sleep. i’m embarrassed to admit that.

things i skip over pretty much every time:

  • harry potter (sorry)
  • arrow
  • marvel comics movies
  • any of those posts where they superimpose text posts on screenshots
  • self-righteous/angry social justice
  • long meta about nmtd (sorry)

i’m not claiming those things aren’t worthwhile. in some cases i’m quite sure they ARE worthwhile. they’re just not something i choose to spend my time on right now.

if i think something is funny, or beautiful, or wise, i will almost always “like” it.

if i can think of something to say and the post has comments enabled (because it’s a followee’s original post, i think is how that happens), i often add a comment. i probably comment on people’s posts more than i should. sometimes i try to think of something witty to say for what feels like a long time, then reluctantly conclude that i’m not that clever and don’t say anything.

finding a post in my dash by a followee who has replied to a comment i previously made on a post of theirs makes me happy. it’s pretty much up there with receiving a message or being reblogged with commentary. but it comes as a surprise, while going through my dash, rather than while reviewing the notes. i like that.

if i like something more than is justified by merely “liking” it, and if i think it goes with the other things i tend to reblog, then in addition to liking i’ll also reblog it. if i think it’s important to reblog it in a timely manner, say because it’s part of some ongoing conversation or relates to some current fandom thing, i’ll reblog it right away. otherwise, i almost always reblog via the queue.

my queue is set to post three times per day: 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. sometimes the queue gets confused and posts multiple things at once; i’m not sure why. but usually it’s just one.

my queue currently contains 84 items. at three per day, that means if i die unexpectedly you’ll keep seeing queued items appearing for another 28 days. i think sometimes about the tail end of my queue, and whether it would make a fitting epitaph for my 30 years of online over-sharing. sometimes i add something to the queue that i think would be a really poignant last-post-ever, and spend a couple of seconds thinking how although it would suck to die right now, it at least would have that as a silver lining.

sometimes i’ll schedule something to post at a specific time. one reason i’ve sometimes done that is because i’m supposed to be working, not blogging, and i think it might be more defensible to be able to point out that the post was made during my lunch hour, or after work. (this is also a factor in my having chosen to have my queue post when it does.) i’m embarrassed to admit that.

my current employer actually is extremely cool, and knows i work at weird hours, and would probably not give me crap about blogging during the workday even if they were concerned about me doing that. i try to keep that in mind, and make sure i’m treating them as nicely as they treat me, and not take advantage.

sometimes i schedule something to post at 11:59 p.m. i usually do that because it’s something that seems darker in terms of mood. it’s just a dumb thing i do. it doesn’t make sense. as an example, i scheduled this post to appear at 11:59 p.m.

when i’ve read everything in my dash i’ll sometimes go read my tracked tags. here’s a screenshot of my currently tracked tags:


i follow exactly 98 users. it makes a neat matrix of icons 7 across and 14 deep in the “people i follow” thingy. if i want to follow someone new, i have to unfollow someone else. the decision of whom to unfollow is the hardest thing.

i could write a text post this long about every one of the 98 blogs i follow. i have an extensive headcanon about all of you. i picture you going about your day. sometimes you appear in my dreams.

i imagine that i occupy a similar space in your own mental landscape. i know i’m wrong to think that in some cases. maybe in most cases. maybe in all cases.

the degree of asymmetry in my relationship with my mutual follows is something i think about a lot. i think that’s probably fairly narcissistic of me. i came across a research paper the other day that said asking someone if they think they are narcissistic is actually a pretty good way of identifying narcissists. this makes me think my suspicion about my narcissism is probably correct.

on the subject of asymmetry, a few of you are biggish tumblr-famous types for whom i’m surely lost in the clutter of your thousands of followers. this doesn’t bother me. also, i know you’re not reading this, so the second-person is just here for consistency’s sake.

a few others of you are people i follow because i find your taste and ideas interesting, and eventually you noticed me liking and reblogging and decided to follow me back. (i noticed. it made me really happy.) but because i’ve never participated in the kind of shared geeky fandom squee with you that i have with others, i’ve sometimes come off as weirdly creepy when i’ve tried too hard to participate in your online life. it embarrasses me to admit that, but that embarrassment is nothing compared to the shame i felt when i realized i’d crossed that line in the first place.

it bothers me, because i don’t think of myself as a creepy person. but i also recognize that creepiness, by definition, is in the eye of the creeped-upon. so if i’m acting in a way that makes someone feel like i’m being creepy, i am, in fact, being creepy, whether or not that was my intention. unlike narcissism, creepiness tends not to be self-aware, at least not while it’s happening, at least not for me.

i strongly desire not to be creepy, so i try to limit my online interactions to non-creepy ones as best i can. learning to be better at recognizing those boundaries has been an interesting and useful experience. but it also sometimes makes me feel isolated and sad. i think it triggers memories of feeling isolated and sad when i was growing up. this isn’t anyone else’s fault. it’s just part of who i am, that i’m doing my best to understand and deal with.

on at least three occasions involving two different followees, i’ve sent an anonymous ask because i had what i thought was a fun or witty thing to say about something happening in their blog, but i suspected that coming from me it might seem creepy. i think the chances are really good that neither of those followees will have read this far. but if you have, and you think i might be referring to you, you could be right. in that case, i apologize for having outed myself here, thereby making the interaction retroactively creepy when it didn’t need to be.

other than those times, i almost never send anonymous asks.

oh, there was one other time i just remembered. there were a couple of different bloggers whom i followed during lbd because they wrote amazing meta, then unfollowed because their meta was making me really angry. later i once sent an anonymous ask to one of them asking her to comment on some of the problematic things that were bothering me at the time about ea, because i suspected it would be really entertaining if she did that. she responded publicly and dismissively and did no such thing, which made me feel embarrassed, even as an anon, and now that i’ve admitted it it makes me feel embarrassed again.

hm. anything else?

i’m a poor tagger. i tag sporadically and inconsistently; often not at all. i’m not particularly embarrassed about that.

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