The whole information harvesting thing used to worry me in its early days. Now it is so pervasive that I notice it less than traffic or bad language. I still don't like it, but if someone is absolutely determined to know what brand of toilet paper I buy and how often I just can't be arsed to lose sleep about it.
I'm four years younger than you, live in London, and use whatever channels are available ... my own network of musos, dedicated JMB-type sites, Facebook, whatever. I go with whatever is out there and hope that some of it goes somewhere. Usually I'm disappointed, but even the disappointments lead to more experience, new material learned, and a wider network of musos.
Starting your own band is hard work but, at your age, chances are you already have decent kit, decent transport, and a bob or two in the bank. It's easier at 66 than 16, IMHO.
If you go that route, though, give some thought to what sort of bands are actually in demand round your way. Starting yet another Dad-rock outfit, especially if your area is already stuffed with well-known Dad-rock outfits, may be a road to nowhere.