The kind of testimonial that a social media site should dream of

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

Back in 1968 Joan Didion wrote an essay about why she left New York. Maybe that was the first of the “Why I am leaving the city” genre. Or maybe the genre existed earlier, but she is certainly the most famous representative. These essays are typically written by women between the ages of 27 and 40 who have decided it’s time to stop partying and start having children.

In our more recent era, over the last 20 years, there has arisen the genre, “Why I am ending my blog.” This has a much broader demographic. Sometimes the writer simply gets tired, or feels they have nothing left to say.

Within this genre, two sub-genres have sprung up: “I am ending my blog and moving to Twitter” and “I’m ending my blog because I’ve grown so much that I am no longer the person who started this blog.” The first type has been written by people of all ages. Even Paul Krugman has written the “move to Twitter” post. The second type tends to be written by people in their 20s.

I am thinking about creating a site, so I think a lot about the dynamics that a site should have.

I came upon this, which is a beautiful essay, and beautifully written, and also it is the kind of testimonial that any kind of social media site should aspire to:

This blog has actually been the reason that I have had so many amazing people in my life. One day a girl messaged me on my Skype, Claire, (I used to post my Skype contact at one time) asking me for some advice about her relationship and she ended up becoming one of my best friends for a long time. We spoke pretty much everyday for over a year, sometimes all day every day and she was just so unbelievably important to me and while we don’t keep in touch that much anymore, she obviously still has a very special place in my heart. In mid 2013, I was having the worst day, and this girl messaged me and she was amazing, because of her I ended up going to my first gay pride and it was truly one of the best days of my life. Then I met Joey, and when we realised we were just not compatible romantically we became such great friends so quickly. We’d Skype for hours and hours, all night sometimes, and we has such a similar sense of humour it was just wonderful. We also had similar experiences with anxiety and she was one of the first people I’d turn to if I needed someone to talk to.

…I never would have expected it to end up here. I had started a couple of blogs in the past before this one, and I think they maybe got about 10 followers, so when this one got 100 I remember being so excited about it. I could never have foreseen getting hundreds of thousands. And it’s not about the amount of followers, it’s really about the interactions, and the amount of messages I got every day that were just mind blowing, and I loved it.

People started asking for my advice, and I was more than happy to give it. I was always that person in my own life anyway, the girl whose friends came to her for help, so it was just so amazing to be able to do that for so many people. I must have easily answered thousands and thousands of advice questions over the years and that’s been one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done. Whenever I receive messages from people telling me I’ve changed their life, or saved them in some cases, I always feel totally undeserving of such a sentiment, but it always means everything to me. To know this blog has been so many different things to different people is so great and I wouldn’t change the experience for anything.

It’s not always been good though of course. I have no idea how many times people have called me rude, and arrogant on this blog, and granted, none of that has ever hurt me, I’m well aware none of those people actually know me, so their opinion is inherently incorrect, it’s still something that’s just been kind of annoying to me. The whole concept of someone actually thinking they know the person you are from reading answers to questions on a blog when tone is just impossible to get often made me just lose faith in people.

And that’s not hyperbole. There have been many times where this blog has made me question a lot of things about people. I’ve received questions so stupid, I couldn’t believe a person out there saying those things could exist. I’ve received questions from people who just ignore what’s already readily available on my blog which made me think about whether people are just inherently selfish or lazy. And worst of all I’ve read experiences from people who need help that just remind me how terrible the world can be and it’s been heartbreaking. It’s beyond me how many times I’ve complained to Danielle about this blog, how frustrated it’s made me, or stressed, or sad.

This blog has been so much.

…This blog gave my life a purpose at times. Knowing I was helping people gave me something when I had nothing else really going for me. I honestly thought I’d still be running it for the rest of my life, but recently, a lot of things have happened.

Firstly, Tumblr is just not that big of a platform anymore. It’s daily use has dropped significantly and it’s hayday is well in the past, meaning on the whole, the entire experience isn’t as active anymore. It’s also lost that community feel that it once had, I think anyone on here that was here in about 2012 knows that it feels very different now. Consequently this blog feels very different to run.

Personally though, my life has changed a lot and so have I. My sexuality isn’t a big part of my life anymore. For some people, their sexuality is this big defining factor, it’s huge part of their identity, and that’s great. But it’s just not like that for me. I came to the conclusion when I was 21 that I wasn’t going to try and label my sexuality anymore like I had been trying to do for years and stressing about for so long. I was very comfortable with myself and who I was in regards to that. I knew I liked women, I knew I liked men, I knew I could like whoever; gender was very irrelevant, and while I could potentially call myself either bisexual or pansexual, I feel either would work, I didn’t want to. My sexuality has never been cut and dry like that, it’s very very fluid and a label just feels unnecessary to me. My sexuality isn’t often a big part of who I am, it’s just me. There are times where it matters more, but generally, I have other things that I think define me more, personally, than the gender of the person I have feelings for at the time. Obviously I think it’s amazing when it’s something that really means a lot to someone and defines them, but that’s not me anymore.

…My life is different now too, other interests have just overtaken this a lot, my time is taken up by other things. My life is much fuller with other areas that I enjoy channelling my energy into and I just don’t think to come on here. When it comes to social media in general, my first thought when picking up my phone or opening my laptop is to check twitter now, most days Tumblr doesn’t get clicked at all. It’s why I’ve been promoting my twitter so much! I want to actually be in contact with people and interact with them because it’s just not happening on Tumblr anymore.

This isn’t the total end to femme-lesbians. I’m sure I’ll still log in once in a while and queue a few things, answer a few questions and I’m certainly never going to delete it, and hell, maybe a few years I’ll feel the need to revive it again, but I’ve out grown it now, I feel. It’s time for me to definitely just let it be and move forward; in a lot of areas of my life in fact, not just this blog.

…I just finally want to say thank you, to everyone that followed me (except the straight men, I never wanted you here, you were never welcome!) but to everyone else who has ever sent me a (nice) message, or asked me for some advice. Anyone who liked a response I gave, who liked a selfie, (and a slightly bigger thank you to those who reblogged one!) Thank you to everyone that’s ever just reblogged an image from here, or liked one. This blog has given me so much, I can’t even fathom the impact it’s made on my life, but that impact wouldn’t have occurred at all if no one followed me, or reblogged a single post, or sent me a message, so thank you. This blog didn’t change my life, you did, so thank you.

A bit off-topic, but for those of us who have followed the decline of Yahoo, once again we must pause and take note of the incredible incompetence of Yahoo’s leadership. They had websites that inspired this kind of intense loyalty, and they threw it all away. Sad and amazing and pathetic.

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