Recently a new trend has been observed by me. Most of the questions go unanswered (including mine). Upvotes and downvotes are rarely given. The frequency of asking questions has also gone down dramatically. Why is this happening?
There are two separate phenonomen:
The one you've noticed is seasonal. Around launches activity skyrockets. Around LTS releases this is usually more significant. Your 7 months with us covered the 16.04 LTS release.
It's also summer now in the northern hemisphere. That accounts for >90% of the demographic here. We're chilling on holiday.
There is also a real and sustained separation between the number of new answers and new questions. I'm not allowed to give specifics but 4 years ago, we got a lot more answers than questions. Now that is almost reversed.
Why? I don't know. I'm open to suggestions explaining this, and fixes.
Since Oli mentioned "a real and sustained separation between the number of new answers and new questions" I'll add a graph of this, taken from SEDE. This includes now-deleted posts.
You can see three phases: rapid growth, where answers exceed questions, steady state with answers evenly matching questions, and slow decline (punctured by 16.04 release) when the number of questions exceeds the number of answers.
The total number of votes on recent posts (less than a month old) has remained relatively stable throughout, but there is a trend for more downvotes and fewer upvotes:
One (quite general) reason for this to happen on Q&A sites is that as the number of available answers grow, more people find answers without asking questions. Those tend to be the people who can analyze their problem, form an effective search query and recognize relevant results. So the new questions are skewed toward people unable to do the above, leading to more duplicates, more unclear questions, and dissatisfaction/fatigue of answerers.