Twitter says I "earned" over 270k impressions in the last 28 days.
Reddit says I have over 13,000 "karma."
I have almost, maybe more than, 10k points on Hacker News between accounts I've made over the years. All of them were exploration.
Most of the connections I made on these sites fade away if I don't stay there. Even the connections I maintained depend on participation on other things: chat rooms on Telegram or Discord, message boards, et cetera. These people are notoriously difficult to get to know elsewhere.
I'm aware of all the tales of people becoming great friends online. Even I had such a story! But it turned out he only connected on Twitter, and he was glued to the app in person. Trying to pull him away for a substantial in-person conversation just led to resentment on both ends.
You know all those '90s shows about virtual reality gone wrong? People jacked in and that was it. You never saw them again unless you joined up. I hate to sound like a luddite, but that's how it feels. If I disconnect, all those connections that felt so real fade away.
Maybe it's me. I've decided to cut way back and try something different. I remember conversations over email and in comments felt more substantial even if they were more fleeting. RSS has no push notifications, and email seems more transactional these days, but I want to see.
Sometimes the only way to get a fresh perspective is to try on an old one. Making friends on message boards and in blog comments seemed easier. I may not talk to most of them anymore, but I remember those conversations in a way I never have with Twitter or link sharing sites.