6 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Inspirational Tumblr

Who makes these inspirational Tumblrs? I have a theory that it’s all rehab art out of Malibu’s Promises Treatment Center. The stupidity of these ubiquitous hipster fortune cookies can be attributed to a slew of factors, but by finding specific patterns and trends I was able to better categorize what precisely makes them so downright idiotic.

Unreasonable Sayings

If you lived each day like it was your last, you’d be poor, fat, and have a guttural beast of a hangover. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” apparently doesn’t apply to heart attacks, all means of corporal punishment, and psychological torture. The fourteen whiskey and diets you had last night won’t give you cirrhosis, they’ll make you stronger, petal.

And what about: “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did”? Really? Because God forbid I don’t give my cheating ex a fourth chance, try bath salts. or become besties with my white supremacist college roommate — I may regret it in 20 years. In 20 years I’ll be famous and have a pet tiger named Raja so I’m sure I won’t care about anything I did or did not do.

Misattributed and Unattributed Quotations

Buddha never said: “Live. Laugh. Love.” And I’m pretty sure “You are beautiful like a rainbow” isn’t a Swedish proverb. Worse still is when you swear you’ve heard it before, and you’re like, “Wait, isn’t that from The Crow?”

Senseless Photographs

Apparently lens flare = inspiration: blade of grass, deserted roads, dew drops, clouds — oh the clouds! All are chock full of substance once you add light leaks. Favorite photos to augment with quotes include silhouettes of ladies with their arms up (much like a tampon commercial), bubbles, sprinkles, and berries. Additionally, post-its, cardboard signs à la the Occupy movement, and palms feature prominently as favorite places to position text.

Rainbow Color Patterns

Based on the sheer abundance of multicolored desserts (candies, ice cream cones, marshmallows, cupcakes, etc.) arranged in a ROYGBIV scheme, I can come to no other conclusion that these images were pillaged from the private food porn stash of an anorexic Lisa Frank creature.

Annoying Fonts

The fonts either go two ways: the first being faux handwriting as if to say, “Lookie! I wrote this with a sharpie in cutesy bubble font: I must be true, because girlfriend, you get me!” Or the fonts are these colossal, bold sans serifs, looking all important like it’s going to say something Nike-like, but really it’s just a Nicholas Sparks quote that hurts your soul — and not in the way it’s intended to.

Preoccupation with Hearts and Love

I don’t care how good your graphic design skills are, heart-shape clouds, leaves, and fireworks will indelibly look fake because random occurrences of heart-shapes never crop up like that in the real world.

Also, despite the popularity of the concept, writing “love” on random crap like soda cans, and spelling it out in sand and on filthy car windows is senseless. Ditto for the words: “hope,” “dream,” “be happy,” and “live.” TC mark

image – lovelydreamms


More From Thought Catalog

  • Awefawef

    tumblr is targeted towards teenager girls for a reason… they love that shit

  • JB

    You’re just sad, aren’t you?

  • Guest

    “Buddha never said: “Live. Laugh. Love.” And I’m pretty sure “You are beautiful like a rainbow” isn’t a Swedish proverb. Worst still is when you swear you’ve heard it before, and you’re like, “Wait, isn’t that from The Crow?””
    Worst still? The expression is “worse still”. Don’t criticize other people’s language if you can’t correctly express your own.

    • Anonymous

      Editing mistake. My b.

    • zlady6


  • HippieChick

    Cynical but also pretty accurate

  • James

    Ha, you’re complaints are just as cliche as self help Tumblr’s. 

    • Guest

      Ha, your apostrophes are misplaced.

  • Anonymous

    You seem like a very bitter person. I have to  fight the urge to drench you in sugar water.

  • Rishtopher

    In my (limited) experience, Tumblr is for teenage girls and hipsters. I find that reading a good book, or doing anything that you like, is infinitely more inspirational than what you can find in badly stylized photos or simple quotations. 

  • Yoa machin

    Haha, spot on sista.  Thanks for the chuckle!

  • RG

    The remedy is as simple as not opening their Tumblr pages. Wake up! The person is entitled to whatever he/she wants to post on her own page. While I personally agree with some of the statements, I still have a choice of not opening that kind of pages. And stereotyping Tumblr for teenager girls, please don’t. I know very good Tumblr pages with meaningful content, and I would also like you to know that some Tumblr pages contain purely porn.. Lots of them. Hihi.

  • Sam

    Love the reference to bath salts. Perfect example.

  • Susan

    I appreciate the cynicism in this. I am a tumblr person myself, and I will unfollow anyone who has the nerve to post a picture of “love” sketched on a dirty window. 

  • Isabelle A Ferreira

    pretentious. you should probably just concern yourself with more important stuff than making fun of other people’s happiness. you are obviously a very sad person.  

    i would offer you an inspirational quote but you don’t believe in those and thats why you will forever wallow in your own misery. 

    good luck with that. 

    oh wait, that might be too inspirational for you. 

  • Evilguk

    Loved this, it’s so outdated as well, it’s the sort of thing you saw in call centres in the 90s to distract you from how shit your job was. Now we live in the future and there are hundreds of websites where EVERYONE can make these posters!

  • Sophia

    Who the hell are you to criticize where others get their inspiration? If you don’t find it inspirational, don’t look at it. Your self-righteousness is so irritating.

    • guest

      Who the hell are you to criticize her personal critique of this online convention? If you don’t see the value in others’ opinions, don’t read them. Your self-righteousness is so irritating.

      • guest2 dawg

        critiquing a critique is different from critiquing a convention…one is intended to attack (in a very sarcastic, pretentious way) while one is just someone trying to be happy in his/her own space.

        why do 22 people like  this comment?

      • Guestapo

        I’m not sure if the OP’s comment would necessarily be classified under the standard definition of critique. Sounds more like self-protective depreciation. 

  • eh


  • ttt

    I always wonder if they really get inspired by that kind of crap… Using a vintage camera app on your iphone doesn’t make you an artist. -_-

  • hgasgkfhaF

    Tumblr is for self-expression and if you can’t bear that, get off of Tumblr. I value your opinion, but you should have put it in a non-sarcastic way. People’s vulnerabilities are not a joke. You should also watch your grammar. 

    • Stinuh

      If you didn’t like what he wrote get off Thought Catalog? Not exactly realistic. He is just making an observation on how a lot of ‘inspirational Tumblrs’ lack depth, and true meaning. You critizing the way he wrote it is the same as him making fun of “People’s vulnerabilities…”

    • annie

      tumblr may have been intended for self-expression, but reblogging meaningless photos that someone else made is a sorry excuse for it. im not on tumblr but my impression is that accounts with any new, original material are pretty rare. im not knocking people who use tumblr as a platform to distribute their own work/ideas, but on the flip side there’s something troubling about curating a collection of other peoples’ work/moments/experiences/ideas on a webpage and calling it self-expression. i don’t know, i just worry about the kids i guess.

  • Guestropod

    thin white women reading in fields at dusk

    • rose georgia


  • http://twitter.com/hilgspritch Lauren Pritchett

    Agreed. Same goes for Pinterest. 

    Your cynicism is refreshing!

  • shannon

    only tangentially related, but if i ever have a male child, i’m naming him Roy G. Vib, inspired by this inspirational article. 

  • Grant Sorenson

    I’ve made it my personal job to alert people via their Ask Box whenever I see a quote misattributed to Shakespeare. I just think people should be told that Shakespeare never said things like “You say that you love rain, but you open your umbrella when it rains. This is why I am afraid, you say that you love me too.” 

  • KV

    i have an inspiration blog and i think it’s great the way people express themselves on tumblr. i appreciate the photography and quotes for the beauty and truth they present (although other times, i just reblog stuff because the look nice and there’s nothing wrong with that as well). you are entitled to your own opinion and it’s nice that you’re honest, but there are people out there that do genuinely enjoy those blogs. 

    and just for the record — some of the things i’ve seen on tumblr really have inspired me. i’m more optimistic and it’s nice to know there are people out there that think and look for the same things i do. it’s a nice community to be in (except for those bloggers that only care about gaining followers or becoming tumblr famous).

  • bee

    I just wanted to say that the Mark Twain “20 years from now..” quote isn’t about regretting EVERYTHING you could ever possibly do.   You’ll just regret the “I want to, but…” shit.  Just my 2cents.

  • beatrice

    Who owns these inspirational blogs? Teenage girls and oh the number of Asian teenage girls who own them

    • guest

      shit just got racial in here~

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A223JCZ5KSD4AC5A3U6G76KCQ4 greasy

    “Cynics and eternal optimists. Everyone has a weakness.” – Shake-effing-speare (first name Brittany)

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