I'm in communication studies. And studying this in this era means 50% of your modules and what your prof talks about will be about the magical wonder tool called "Internet"
I read a few articles on christianitytoday.com recently that talks about this topic as well.
Seems like everywhere i turn i just see people discussing about Facebook and blogging and on and on...
This is usually where i will start sharing how i feel about this trend and [try to] write some wise stuff, well, i have none of those..obviously everything that can be talked about regarding this topic has already be talked about. and obviously those super eloquent writers out there express it way better than me.
Just wanna take myself as a case study.haha. Personally, facebook is quite dominating in my life. When i went online, first thing i'll do is check email, after that facebook, after that blogs.. i have definitely benefited from all these platforms: keeping in touch with my friends that's overseas [real life personal friend, not random strangers that we tend to anyhow add online], get to know someone better, strength of weak ties..blah blah blah..
But you know what, no matter how powerful msn or facebook is.. They can never replace face to face communication. Non-verbal communication is way more important important than what most people take it to be, even skype or webcam cannot replace face to face communication.
I remember seeing my friend at orchard after 2 years. I tell you, no matter how much we chat on msn or webcam or write something on each others wall, NOTHING, absolutely no virtual interaction during those 2 years can replace the half an hour we spent talking face to face.