I've finally become more active on fb because my son will be moving out of state and I figured fb will let me see and communicate more. I have been having a lot of fun there, it is like a buffet with all the different groups one can look at, I've joined several including some nice houseplant and cycling groups.
The unifying element seems to be inclusion- there are people in the cycle groups that are amazingly fit and who regularly bike 100 miles at a time, but as long as I get my butt off the couch and get out there and try every day I do feel a part of the group. I used to cycle every day and I am getting back to doing that and I attribute my behavior change as an effort to conform with those in the group.
FB is also a place to catch up with past acquaintances. I knew some local people years ago when I attended a local church, and and asked to be friends and they added me as friends. I quickly had to defriend half of them after I saw their feeds and pages. I expected a warm nest of inclusion, but these people seemed to derive their satisfaction by excluding others- people of foreign birth or racial minorities , Democrats, non-Texans. They seems to be unified by being haters. I was shocked because we had attended church together so I guess I expected they would all be wholesome and loving.
I just think in general that deriving one's identity by excluding others is not ultimately going to be as satisfying as an identity built by inclusion and supportiveness.
I've had to come to terms with the fact that by defriending these people I am excluding them, but I just feel uncomfortable with a daily barrage of hate messages.