I've been inactive from Facebook for over a year because I found a lot of the communications to be unproductive. They didn't foster any positive growth. I grew weary of the idea that being online meant my attention is available to any and all who saw that I was online. So I quit.
The opportunity cost of having more mental real estate to pursue action on things I found more meaningful was social isolation. You realize who you want to keep in contact with and become more intentional about reaching out to select friends and family - and those relationships strengthen.
My home on the internet is tilde.town, of which I am a volunteer admin, so I started to occupy the #tildetown IRC channel quite a lot in lieu of both social media and in-person social interaction. We chat and play games and run D&D adventures and water our ASCII plants.
I got on Mastodon a little bit ago and attempted to see if I had any interest or potential in engaging in a Twitter-like platform. Answer is no.
Then I discovered Scuttlebutt. It is a decentralized social network technology where all of the data is encrypted, owned by the users, and not private companies. I installed Patchwork, a super sleek, lightning fast native app to use Scuttlebutt. tilde.town's m455, resir014 and I experimented connecting to the diefrein.club pub server so that our data, written in local
.ssb diary logs, could sync to each other's feeds.
The experience functions much like meatspace interactions would; there is no "login" mechanism permitting or denying you from interaction. If you and a friend are on the same network and are following each other, your posts will sync up to each other's clients, and you two can then share / converse about the synced updates -- about how cool the visit to the winery was, or how hilarious you thought the ice cream flavor tasted. Also much like real life, you can't delete your posts. This form of "online" socializing is closely replicating the real thing, and avoiding the infamous tweet and delete. There are no advertisements. No content catered to you based on your historical perusing. No giving off the impression that everything is perfect and that anyone is better than anyone. It feels, well, real, which is something online socializing has been sorely lacking.