Opportunities to connect abound on the web. An abundance of sites exist for the purpose of communication and expression. MySpace, twitter, blogspot...even Youtube has comment boxes which allow closed loop communication - a secondary or perhaps tertiary function of the site. As much as these sites "flatten" the world for us, they also allow us to maintain distance.
Take my use of a "social networking" site. I use it to leave a "virtual" voice message for people I don't have time or inclination to connect to directly. Used this way, social networking sites become "antisocial" networking sites. I have long used professional voice mail to "hit and run" by calling in directly to the voice messaging system rather than the voice mail subscriber and left them a direct VM (message to their voice mailbox) without calling their phone. I've gotten return calls (generally I let these go to voice mail in return - God bless caller ID) that begin by the caller stating their confusion about how they missed the call, they were right at their desk, the phone didn't ring...et cetera.
I hope this is not misunderstood to mean that I am antisocial or that I discourage communication. This method of stealth communication is an excellent way to schedule or limit communication between those with whom we have some degree of social contract, such as indirectly and by association, but less than par "love lost." In-laws come immediately to mind. We can't pick our own family and a significant other's family may be best held at some distance. Enter, the use of "antisocial" networking techniques.
Just another reason to stop worrying and love the internet. Thanks for your ears!