Many people treat social media as their pets. They know its time to feed the beast when it stops getting likes. Sooner or later, master becomes slave. (In return, the new master sells ads to third parties, etc.—and one is all of a sudden paying to be the slave, as @budnitz constantly alerts to). It’s like masochism, except no pleasure.
Others treat it as a garden. There they plant flowers with a certain notion of composition, firstly for themselves to enjoy. Some of the neighbors will be pleased, and will tell others about it: «oh such a nice little garden over there: go take a look»; impassive passersby will pass by impassively, and that’s fine, and everyone’s happy.
I see @ello as a community garden, in a sense.
Sometimes you forget to water the flower beds; sometimes you change your mind about what you’ve planted; and there are moments—because, well, life—in which you lose interest in your patch. (That’s not necessarily negative. It may mean in part that you’re fulfilled by things and conversations outside the internet.)
Besides narcissism and boredom, visibility and company are why we use social media. Visibility, to let others know you exist. You spend your best years curating your ‘presence’ (granted that this is quite a peculiar use of the word), until theatricality wears you down, or second thoughts set in about the persona you once devised (because, well, life). You’ll probably keep such considerations to yourself and carry on. Blessed are the frivolous for they are never affected by such doubts.
As for company, social media is full of loners and—paradoxically, perhaps— misanthropes. Trolls, too, seek company. Furthermore, there is the widespread, deep-seated, panic of feeling left out. But there is another sense of ‘company’ one should mention. If, knock on wood, Ello’s servers blew up, I think I’d miss your company. I’d miss some of you, at least. “We are the creators network”, and—let’s face it—creators need company. (Even God, when you come to think of it.)
This nice community has grown enormously since the early days when every one greeted neighbors with lengthy candor. I suspect the sense of company is still in place, if shortened into love-button-form. Taciturnity is the price of growth in size, I guess, and there’s little we can do against that. Moreover, many of you have just arrived and are still figuring out whether you will stick around, and, if so, what you will do. My advice to newcomers is: participate. Don’t just watch: do. Post stuff, say hi, leave comments—be neighborly.
Let go of the Sillicon Valley zeitgeist. Ello is not about visibility. It's about the company we keep.