How Parents Can Keep Their Kids Safe on Tumblr

There are pros and cons to teens using Tumblr.
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Tumblr is one of the many social media platforms today's teens are using. Tumblr attracts a young audience, mostly teens and young adults who want to stay away from social networking sites that their parents are frequenting.

Tumblr is like a blog. With just a few clicks, teens can post photos and text to a website for all the world to see. They can also scroll through other people's content.

One of the reasons why Tumblr has become so popular among teens is that it’s easy to use on smartphones and tablets. This means that many teens are posting to Tumblr throughout the day.

Although there are some positive aspects of Tumblr, there are also some potential dangers. Educate yourself about social media sites your teen may be using.

The more information you have, the better equipped you'll be to create rules that will keep your teen safe and to hold conversations with your teen about the various risks and benefits of specific social media sites.  

Potential Privacy Issues

One of the issues parents should be aware of with Tumblr is the lack of privacy. It is difficult to create privacy settings that prevent information from being public. As a result, most posts made by teens are open to the public.

Scams and Security Issues

Like other social media sites, Tumblr has had its share of scams and security issues. One common phishing scam on Tumblr invites users to enter their log-in information on fake log-in screens. Then, thieves steal their information.

Access to Adult Content

Tumblr has been criticized for the overwhelming amount of pornographic material on the site. Tumblr allows sexually-explicit material to be posted to the site. Pornographic videos are not allowed to be posted directly to Tumblr but links to pornography are allowed.

Even if your teen isn't purposely looking for pornographic images, he may stumble upon it innocently. 

Although Tumblr has released statements indicating that child pornography is not allowed, there have been incidents where child pornography has been reported on the site.

Glamorizing Unhealthy Behavior

Although it can happen on almost any social media site, people on Tumblr sometimes glamorize unhealthy behavior. Some teens and young adults depict self-harm and eating disorders in a positive light.

A 2018 study found that Tumblr can contribute to body image issues. Researchers discovered that people who viewed "thinspiration" pictures were more likely to restrict their eating. The study found that about a third of the images on Tumblr were sexually objectifying. 

Unfortunately, Tumblr may become an arena where users support one another's dysfunction. And for teens with mental health issues, that could be a serious problem.

Potential Benefits of Teens Using Tumblr

Of course, Tumblr isn't all bad. It provides a creative out for many young people.

Posting photos and creating short blog posts can help teens find their sense of self. They can express themselves with text as well. Here are a few other potential benefits of Tumblr.

  • It can help teens develop their interests. They can learn more about other people’s hobbies and talents, which may spark new ideas.
  • Tumblr teaches teens about the world. Teens can read posts written by people from all over the globe. It can expose them to new ideas and interesting concepts.
  • Tumblr encourages users to network with one another. Blog posts can be created collaboratively. This can help teens work with others and get to know new people.

Keep Your Teen Safe on Tumblr

Familiarize yourself with the social media platforms your teen is using. Talk about the dangers of posting inappropriate content and the risks of engaging with unsafe people.

Monitor your teen's online activity from time to time. Make sure she knows that you may look over her shoulder once in a while or check to see what she's up to. 

Educate your teen about social media. Make it clear that there can be serious consequences for posting inappropriate material and warn your child how inappropriate material can ruin a person’s reputation.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wick M, Harriger J. A content analysis of thinspiration images and text posts on TumblrBody Image. 2018;24:13-16. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.11.005

  2. Kelleher E, Moreno M, Wilt MP. Recruitment of Participants and Delivery of Online Mental Health Resources for Depressed Individuals Using Tumblr: Pilot Randomized Control Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2018;7(4):e95. doi:10.2196/resprot.9421

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