I was wrong about saying No to all catchup requests.
According to my Whatsapp chat history, I met most of the people who I chat with regularly nowadays through Twitter or mutual friends. I decided to say YES instead of NO, and they became friends to talk with regularly now.
I still think group catch ups and group chats lead to the lowest common denominator: gossiping and shitting on each other. I avoid those even now.
Due to lack of social interaction with work friends during covid, I opened up to a lot of new people. And I am glad I did. It led to many new friendships.