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How 2014 Tumblr Culture Has Influenced and Changed Fandoms!

Written by: Caroline Walters

If you’re anything like us, then that means you probably grew up using Tumblr during the 2014 grunge era. You listened to Halsey, The 1975, and definitely Arctic Monkeys religiously, and probably tossed some of The Neighbourhood’s songs into your playlists for good measure! The angst and grunge were real, and while the Tumblr culture is definitely making a return, it’s also changed the way fandoms work! 💭

In 2014, the American Apparel aesthetic was the only way to go. Black tennis skirts, dark red lipstick, and fishnet tights were the ultimate combination. Pair the outfit with a pair of Doc Martens boots and you were all set for the perfect indie concert! In 2022 and 2023, this is definitely coming back in style. Doc Martens are just as popular as they have been, but now the platform shoe is becoming the new style, along with dark black jeans and basic tops. Red lipstick will forever be popular, but the styles influencing what to wear to a concert definitely come from Tumblr! 💄

The popularity of fandoms really took off with the growth of social media, but platforms like Tumblr were so beneficial in building communities. Fans became more open about their love for music and stopped caring about what people would say about them. They finally had a place to feel comfortable online, and they were so into it! Artists like Taylor Swift (who was already mainstream) used Tumblr to heavily interact with fans and even use it to scope out who she wanted to invite to secret sessions and meet her in the Rep Room while she was on tour! For artists who were still gaining popularity and trying to break out in the industry, Tumblr was an amazing way to showcase your work and meet fans. Halsey really utilized that aspect of the site and not only did she fall into the style influences, but she would post poems and tease new songs as a way to keep fans engaged! 📝

Artists and fans could also tag their posts with whatever they wanted to (#grunge and #aesthetics were super popular) and this led to an increase in people who ran fan accounts for their favorite artists. By using the same tags as artists, the chances they’d notice you increased significantly! Fan accounts are still incredibly popular and have been growing, but around 2016, they moved from Tumblr to being mainly on Twitter. 🖥

Fandoms are everywhere, but now instead of living on Tumblr, fans are taking over Twitter. The move to Twitter did change the way fandoms interacted, but not as much as you might think. Group chats became super popular as a new way to interact with other fans and build community, and artists started moving to Twitter as well. The platform just became easier to use and a quicker way to share information, especially with the overall popularity of Twitter from people who were using it for non-fandom things. Twitter became a great place for fans to quickly gain new information and meet people, but also just for their posts to reach people and places they never thought they would! Social media is an incredible tool to reach people who live thousands of miles away from you, and artists and fans are able to reach a super widespread audience and hear thoughts and ideas about what an artist’s career might look like from anyone in the world! 🌍

The main goal of any fandom is Community, and both sites provided this. As much as Twitter has become the new social media platform for fandoms, the idea of Tumblr and the closeness of the community is one that people still crave. As a whole, social media has helped narrow the gap between any artist and their fans and allows for close communication. Some artists are even able to recognize their fans without having met them before because of the way they can interact with each other on social media, which is such a cool thing! 🤍

Fandoms and the platforms people use will always be evolving, just like the style trends, but there’s definitely a resurgence of Tumblr coming back into play. Halsey has recently announced her return to the platform, and there’s no doubt that the popular bands from that era are making a major comeback with the release of new albums. Regardless of which platform you’re currently obsessed with, the only thing that matters is you’ll have a community wherever you choose! While social media and fandom culture are definitely changing, one thing will remain the same: fandoms are a place to show love and support for an artist and make new friends that care about the same things as you. 💜

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