11 years ago I may have wholeheartedly agreed with this sentiment. In principle, I do. But since 11 years ago my life landslid into illness and disability. The internet can be a poignant place for people like me, people with ME/CFS who are often shut-ins and live something close to solitary confinement. While real life friends and experiences are truly irreplaceable, there are some who do not have the luxury of good health, or mobility to have certain experiences. The internet has provided people in the ME/CFS community with a platform that they otherwise would not have found — and have achieved things on a large scale — quickly that otherwise may have taken years to accomplish: monies in donations raised for medical research, funding for documentaries, funding for patients who are in financial need, the ability to participate at NIH/CDC conferences virtually (as well as ask questions there), patient community’s ability to collectively voice concerns over NIH/CDC practices/funding (or lack thereof), patient community’s ability to convene when discussing flawed research practices (eg recent PACE Trial rebuttals), and a place for otherwise very isolated people to find a way to at least connect with others (in the same boat or not), and even to connect on G+ for group meditation.
I’m glad I have the photo of me water skiing when I was a kid (1970's), or on the Eiffel Tower (1989) when I was in my 20's…because I now can hardly retrieve those moments in my body-mind as even once having been part of something that was my very real life as a healthy person. In my experience, I’ve found memories do fade.
(I do not mean to advocate for phone addiction, phone camera addiction, texting addiction and/or behaviors that isolate rather than engage. One must strike a reasonable balance.)