Is a Digital Neighbor as Good as the Real Thing?
"This is a defense of the value of real places where real people meet, and the little-heeded but significant role they play in the life of our cities and towns.
Online networks can, of course, create social and business relationships. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter let people meet and keep in touch, and occasionally in-person friendships flower from Facebook 'friending.' Indeed, their popularity may well be fed by the lack of true Third Places in our lives.
Still, as Third Places they're mere metaphors for the real thing."