You can thank David Karp for attempting to (albeit, indirectly) inject a little literary culture into the social networking frenzy that has dominated our internet history and depressingly, our consciousnesses, with his creation, ‘tumblr’. For those of you unfamiliar with this, it initially seems like another procrastination tool that we surrender our mental wellbeing to, in favour of hours of staring at a computer screen, waving goodbye to our degrees – that is of course, after checking your Facebook notifications and Twitter feed. However this particular social networking site has an ever-so-slightly more sophisticated twist, offering users a chance to express themselves through ‘micro-blogs’, which many have incidentally chosen to fill with expressions of their love for the written word. All that is required is to type ‘tumblr’ and ‘literature’ into a search engine and you will be presented with pages of results filled with literature-lovers the world-over. Like its rival Twitter, users are given the choice of becoming a pseudo-stalker by choosing to ‘follow’ any of these pages, thereby being informed on a continuous basis of the newest additions to these pages. Many follow the theme of posting their favourite quotes or extracts from classic books or authors, or even adding their own personal works of prose and poetry. A little more civilised than the genius of the average ‘frape’? Probably. However like Facebook, the tumblr literature scene has been infiltrated by the notorious ‘memes’ which have ignited so much debate recently, (though I’m the last person to tell you whether or not they are being used, ‘correctly’), with one irritating example complaining of the clearly blatant ignorance of the general public for not knowing that ‘wherefore art thou Romeo?’ does not in fact mean, ‘where are you Romeo?’ (If this is news to you, look it up. It was news to me too). Obviously, tumblr is a more creative outlet for the youth of today than its fellow networking sites, considering 50% of all tumblr users are under 25. However, whilst it seems a more mature version of the typical networking site we are used to, if it is literary enlightenment you are after, it is probably best to adopt the old fashioned method, and simply read some books.
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