Paly Tumblrs. The only place where a snapshot from Lilo and Stitch or The Office can perfectly describe the daily obstacles of an everyday student. These blogs include random images or GIFs, often picturing funny expressions or quotes, that have the uncanny ability to accurately describe the average student’s reaction to the many struggles students face at Paly.
In particular, the past couple of months have brought an upsurge of Paly-related blogs, which are quickly gaining student recognition. Palyproblems.tumblr.com, also known as Paly Problems, is among the blogs recently created that speak directly to Paly students, and uses gifs and pictures to acknowledge the universal problems relating being students or to Palo Alto.
“[Paly Problems] is entertaining because the posts capture what a lot of Paly kids are thinking in a very comedic and amusing way,” junior Alex Hammer said.
Many Paly-themed web interfaces have also been created in the past. Twitter accounts like @paproblems or @heardonthequad, as well as Facebook pages like Paly Compliments have all appeared within the online Paly community. They often gain popularity and recognition, and usually hit a peak of student interest before they start to lose momentum and soon become a thing of the past. The creator of palyproblems.tumblr.com, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided that despite the past success of accounts such as @paproblems or @heardonthequad, they chose to try something new.
“@paproblems got a lot of critique for not directly relating to Paly, so I wanted to make sure I was always very relatable,” Paly Problems said, “[@paproblems] also gone kind of downhill since last year and seems to be past its prime, so I thought it was time to start something new.”
Some students are also taking this new phase of using tumblr GIFs to illustrate different situations to a personal level by creating new blogs somewhat based off of these Paly blogs, but adding their own personal spin to it.
Sophomore Lydia Barry, creator of lydzlyfe.tumblr.com made a blog following the same general set up, but her posts aren’t strictly related to just Paly. Barry decided to create a blog that catered more to her specific style, while still following the general setup.
“Whenever I ranted in public, no one would listen, so I decided to post it on Tumblr,” Barry said.
Barry’s blog has also gained recognition within the Paly community.
“I have received positive and negative feedback.” Barry said. “The positive is that a lot of people think that it’s funny, and they can relate to my daily struggles, and the negative is that people think I’m copying other people, but I’m not.”
The anonymity of the creators of the school-related Tumblrs can also create a fun twist for reader, according to the creator of palyproblems.tumblr.com.
“I think that when the creator of a funny account is revealed, it takes away from the fun,” the creator said. “When we found out Brian [Benton] was @paproblems, it suddenly became less funny.”
Original creator of @paproblems, and Paly graduate (Class of 2012) Brian Benton disagrees.
“I think [loss of anonymity] just made [students] look at the account from a different perspective. Instead of being a universal account that everyone could connect with, @paproblems just became ‘Brian’s second twitter.” Benton said. “For some people, that probably made it less funny, but I think for the most part the jokes were still the same and most people didn’t really care who was responsible.”
Benton believed that despite the immediate student population being informed of his identity, the integrity of the account remained.
“The only real effect of people finding out the account was me was that I had to be a bit more accountable for what I was saying, and started to steer away from offensive jokes or jokes aimed at specific people.” Benton explained.
However, even with this slight change in the humor of the jokes, the switch didn’t really affect the overall appeal.
“That wasn’t much of an issue either, because the account mostly was making fun of all of us, so having to stop making that kind of jokes didn’t have that much of an impact.” Benton said.
Whether or not Tumblr blogs like palyproblems.tumblr.com and palystruggles.tumblr.com will continue to grow and thrive is uncertain. There is a clear history of these kinds of websites slowly fading with time. For now, their popularity is clear among the student population.
“It’s hard to gauge just how I’m doing since I don’t track hits or get that many notes, but I hear people talking about it and see people posting links on Facebook, so that makes me pretty happy,” creator of Palyproblems.tumblr.com said.