You should know that I'm not going to automatically follow everyone who follows me on Ello. I don't work that way. I need something of substance to connect to. If you don't have good-to great-content I can make a connection with, I'm not going to add you just to raise your number of followers. I'm not here for popularity contests, yours or mine. I'm here to explore and experiment in a values based social networking site to see what kind of community is possible in this new venue.
As I transition away from Facebook and into Ello I am spending a lot of time thinking about connection, community, relationship, and what I gain from participating in social networking. While I can have an indirect connection to a lot of people I've known over the years (but no longer actually interact with), or creative people who do things I like, they aren't actual relationships where anything is being directly shared between us. There is no more intimacy with one person on the network than another. Everyone sees the same thing. Of course something can grow from a relationship that starts on the feed, but my sense is that most people are not connecting beyond the feed.
My intimate circle is pretty small right now. Not by design, but due to life changes and relocating to a new city. As I reflect on community building and what I'm seeking to create in my new home, I recognize that I desire to be more selective in whom I share my energy with and why. Including in a digital space like this. Every post = time and energy on my part. My time and energy is precious.
In the last few weeks I've had people reach out to me or need support from me in ways that can't be shared or given over a social network. Today I received a note from an old friend feeling disconnected, who said of all the friends she has/had that I am the one she misses most. That's pretty fucking special! That relationship was nurtured years ago over long conversations on our couches with coffee or wine in our hands, not short tidbits of our lives shared on Facebook. We're hundreds of miles apart now, but I've volunteered to connect more intimately in whatever way works best for her - instant message, email conversation, phone call.
There's no reason anyone should be feeling disconnected when there are so many ways to have an in depth conversation in today's world! The only real obstacle is our time and how we choose to spend it. What's our priority? Reading the feed or meeting our friends' needs? While I intend to nurture community here and see what develops, I also intend to spend less time on social networking overall and more time in deep conversation, nurturing relationships with people I care about, creating a network where everyone knows someone has their back - for real.