Are the bands too quiet?

Many of the HF phone bands have been depopulated during non-contest times. The FT8 frequencies are quite active. VHF/UHF repeaters are dead quiet most days. DMR can support a lot of activity, but is mostly quiet. Even a “busy” talkgroup like 3100 is quiet for hours on end. HF CW activity is also down, but there is usually someone around willing to do slower speeds on frequencies like 14.050, which is good for newcomers. The lingering solar minimum, proliferation of noise-inducing gadgets with switching power supplies, the rise of distracting social media and screens in general, the aging of the ham radio demographic, the increasing challenge of putting up HF antennas – all of it plays a role.