I have had a meetup.com account since I was using yahoo as my primary e-mail provider. For years my account was dormant because activities that I interested in were either in another country or at a time when I could not participate. Recently I have found that activities are at times when I can participate. As a result of I am building a new network of people to climb with.
At the same time as my meetup habit is picking up my FaceBook is declining. I am now into my fifth day without using the social network. I stopped using FaceBook and Instagram because whereas they used to be networks to keep in touch with friends they are now networks to enrich influencers and leaving us feeling empty. Add to this the genocide, the monopoly and other issues and you see why we decrease the habit.
Social networks should first and foremost be about connecting people and enabling them to enrich their lives by both meeting new people and by practicing the activities that they enjoy. Social networks should empower people to find people with whom to have adventures and a social life. Social networks should contribute towards an active existence.
Twitter and Seesmic were two social networks that encouraged people to converse, and have such a great time in the virtual world that they wanted to meet in person. Facebook has always been about adding old friends, and occasionally joking around but for the most keeping in touch with old friends. Since Zynga took over timelines keeping in touch was redundant as it would take reading dozens of posts before you came to you could engage with personally.
In using Meetup.com for several weeks I have met new people, started climbing again and I have come home feeling fulfilled. This is especially true for last Wednesday and this Sunday. When I do group activities sports are not my motivation. Socialising is. I want to meet new people and I want to converse. I am an active participant rather than an observational introvert. Groups that are inclusive of introverts are worth being part of.
In summary we use social networks because we want to diminish solitude Networks that allow us to connect with people on a personal level are to be prioritised. Those that leave us feeling disconnected should be unplugged.