I was reading LIVY's post about loneliness, social contact and the internet. I felt for her as I know only how awful I felt about living in Woop Woop - and Livy's personal "Woop Woop" is a lot more remote than mine was.
Some of you may laugh but underneath it all, I'm a rather introspective introvert (does that make sense). I love to hang out with like minded people, but on many days I liken myself to a crab - love a moment in the sun, but also enjoy scuttling back under my rock for a bit of solitude. I find the Internet a real haven for my INFJ (check out the Kiersey Temperament Sorter!) nature - I can interact with others in all sorts of deep and meaningful ways at my pace, my place.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that introverts don't like hanging out with others. I don't like hanging out with large groups of people I don't know. I am no party starter (OK, except in RPM), but with people who I know well and within small groups, I am passionate and intense!
To sum up, I think the friendships you can make online are really worth it. I've met so many great people in the Figure/bodybuilding area and have been lucky now to have met many in real life. That's why I'm contemplating Jen Hendershott's Phat Camp in Melbourne next year - a chance to get together and be passionate about what we're all interested in :)