Great article, totally agree with the positive tone and connecting with trail users especially when society in general is getting more and more disconnected. We are all mountain bikers (or at least trail users) and it does unite us in a way.
I mostly ride solo and don't like stopping or interrupting my flow but for the most part have at least a hello, smile or nod to everyone I come across, (and fwiw I've done that mid KOM run plenty of times, so don't be so quick to blame strava ) I do my best to be a good trail user. I generally don't choose to start conversations but I'm always open to them and often enjoy random chats trail side. I also think that we as riders have a responsibility to go out of our way to at least smile or say hello to other user groups, whether you're in the mood or not, it's a public relations issue.
However, I will say this… while there's no excuse to not at least nod or acknowledge trail users you come across, not everyone wants to stop and chat or say hello while out riding. I totally support someones right to do that and not be viewed as some kind of asshole. I'm not advocating being ANTI-social and definitely not saying it's cool to blow off a friendly hello or ignore another rider, that's a dick move. I just think there's a bit of an unwritten social contract among some riders that if you're not super outgoing on the trails you're a dick.
I think our society in general doesn't respect introversion and treats it either as shyness or anti-social. People have a right to keep to themselves whether or not it's considered proper etiquette or good for the sport's image. I think there's a lot of introverted riders that enjoy time alone to reflect or "check out" while they're on the trails. If they don't want to open up, you don't necessarily need to be insulted or view all mountain bikers as elitist.
All that being said: the more smiles, hellos, nods and friendly interactions - the better experience we'll all have on the trails!