IMHO, ham radio isn't a means to socialize with other people. It's primarily a means to experiment with radio. For me, a very minor secondary benefit is the ability to communicate in emergencies.
Actually conversing with other people is just an incidental aspect. I doubt if they find me interesting to talk to, and the feeling is mutual.
That's not to say that I don't occasionally have interesting contacts. And most of my best friends happen to be hams. But that's just incidental to the main purpose.
That is why contests are so popular, even for those who aren't hard-core contesters. It's a good opportunity to see how well you're getting out, and you don't have to worry about the other guy discussing his health problems.
I dont really have any interest in experimenting with radio. I understand how they function, and I know what the limits of my personal engineering and assembly abilities are.
I dont build radios, I use them. Looking at the latest HRO catalog, I see very few HF kits and very many $3000 HF monster rigs. Based on that, I'd say that the industry and hobby has moved away from DIY radois and has moved to consumer products based around integrated circuits and sophisticated functionality.
How many people do you know say their hobby is hammers and chisels, or sockets and screwdrivers, as opposed to woodworking or mechanics?
I take a very pragmatic view of radio, I see it as a tool. My hobby is reliable communications, not radios.
That said, I have very little to say to a bunch of people that want to whine about their computers, their health problems, their gardens, their politics, or the government. The internet works much better for those things, and when the SHTF, we'll have more important things to talk about.
MF'N TEAM LEADER
"Some people think that the best way to stop the leopard is to cut the horns off the gazelle. This, my friends, is insane."