This might be what I didn't know I was looking for.
Although my career has depended very much on "Web 2.0", I never really liked the term or the concept, let alone its implementations. Despite insurmountable quantities of revisionism, the web was not designed to be an application platform. I know this not only because "duh" but because I was there back when it was becoming an application platform. I watched and participated in real time as all kinds of bad decisions were made by developers, network admins, and executives that led us to where we are now. And where is that?
Of all the popular websites out there today, the only one that isn't all about advertising and still values content over style is Wikipedia. It's no mere coincidence that Wikipedia is quite old and made a point since the start to be funded by donations. (Wikipedia is not perfect, of course, but nothing is, so I don't hold it to an impossible standard.) BTW, if Wikipedia is too flashy for your tastes, you can get it filtered through Gopherpedia.
The website that really made me tired of the modern web is Facebook. I begrudgingly joined because it was the only means of communication I had with some family. Later it became important for scheduling events. So, like many people, I got sucked into the beast, and I put up with it as they repeatedly made "upgrades" that I disliked and drastically altered what I saw. On a site where I used to keep up with friends and family, I found myself bombarded by ads and political insanity. I tried various tips for improving my feed, but it was just more trouble than it was worth, and even if I got my feed dialed in for a while, FB would just change everything again. So, I went looking elsewhere.
So far, I have not been impressed by Diaspora. I'm giving Friendica a shot, but I'm still skeptical. I'm really liking Mastodon, and it's what started me on this new journey that led me here. Mastodon introduced me to the Fediverse. The Fediverse introduced me to Lemmy and Gemini. Gemini is where I first read about tilde servers.
I'm new to the tildeverse, but as I understand it, it's a throwback to just before I got access to networked computers. In the mid-to-late 1990s, I ran a web server in college, but due to limitations of resources (and paranoid staff), we couldn't have an open playground. Other than the few of us in charge of the server, users could only post static content (just web pages and images). I wrote a whole lot of Perl back then, but I didn't get to branch out much more at the time. In short, for me a tilde server is pseudo-nostalgia.
By contrast, plain web pages, gopher, IRC, and other old protocols represent real nostalgia. I wasted many hours on telnet talkers, MUDs, and MOOs. I remember having to hunt down cool places--sometimes even keeping track of specific IP addresses--and coordinating across time zones to hang out with people I liked.
What will I do with this? I don't know yet. Hopefully have fun. Even better, maybe learn some things. I might even just meet people who are also having fun and learning things. At the very least, spend less time among angry people on "modern" internet systems.