When Tumblr was launched back in 2007, people didn’t pay much attention because they just didn’t think it was interesting enough. But time changes everything, doesn’t it? Now, it has over 400 million blogs with 555 million visitors every month.
Although Tumblr is one of the biggest social media platforms, it works very differently from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It looks like a huge, huge mess from the outside but Tumblr is where the cool nerd kids hang out, and boy, are they nerd! Tumblr has no real names or pictures of people (usually). Rather, it is all about the fandom they are in, the fan wars they get in, and the fan art they share. Yep.
The microblogs of Tumblr have proved to be a solid pavement for so many artists and writers. The site is filled with them, and the number of notes of the pictures and reblogs on good stuff is astonishing. This art even makes it’s way to other social media as well, making the art and artist get so much visibility. And apart from this, a huge thing that happens on Tumblr is ‘shipping’.
What is Shipping on Tumblr?
Usually the only time we hear the word shipping is when you’re online shopping. This shipping is entirely different – this is a short form for ‘Relationshipper’, someone who roots for a couple from the fandom they’re in. Confused? Let us take an example of Harry Potter. In the series, Hermione ends up with Ron – But people on Tumblr can ship her with Harry, or Draco. Likewise, someone might ship Thalia and Leo from the PJO series, when they’re not even a couple. You see? People can basically ship any character with any character from anywhere and that is legit on the site. But again, it also results in so many fan wars.
Which is why Tumblr is always up in the flames. The fan wars are causing too much friction in different fandoms and it is such a bizarre thing for an outsider. But here on fandom land, we take things seriously. A good thing that comes out of shipping everytime is that people are learning more about respecting others’ perspectives and also learning more about the sexualities of characters. This is making the whole crowd there woke, and it is a commendable thing. The recent coming out of Brendon Urie from the Panic at the disco was met with so many warm welcomes and positivity from the microblogging site is an example.
Shipping has also led to an in-depth character analysis of the characters people read, and some even reflecting upon themselves. In this post-colonial modern era, shipping and dark humor on Tumblr is all we’ve got to float our boat. And of course, memes too! So if you belong to any of the fandoms – Marvel, DC, Starwars, Harry Potter, Shadowhunters, whatever, just get on Tumblr already and get yourself a blog you can put all your ships onto for sailing.
Or if you think all this is way too much effort, maybe just use the concept to use it as a bomb pickup line. Next time you see your crush, walk up to them and say, ‘I ship us’!