I've stated before that I do not think we should make a distinction between real and virtual, or online and offline lives. It's all the same, even more so for a younger generation.
"I find very compelling the idea that we [are] beginning to see a generation that has not grown up with the idea of the internet as a separate "cyberspace", but instead experiences it as an aspect of the environment in which they live; another channel alongside "real space", only with different characteristics." The internet has invaded our social space to a point that we can no longer tell the difference between those relationships it infects and those it does not. The six degrees that used to separate us, for instance, has dropped to 4.6 thanks to digital technology. We no longer use terms like "pen pal" or "acquaintance," instead just calling everyone a "friend" whether we talk to them daily in person or monthly over instant messenger."