People want to be comforted, understood. They want to speak out about their feelings, share what they think, vent their frustrations to others without the risk of hurt or rejection. It's easier for many people to do this in text, for many reasons. They don't have to show their face to anyone, nor do they have to see the reaction of another person. They can be connected without losing their isolation. Everyone does this to an extent, I suppose. Even yours truly, as she writes each journal entry. She writes them, knowing full well who will read it, who she wants to read it, and hopes she will get the response she wants, etc.
Still, nothing beats TRUE human contact. I don't mean physical contact, neccessarily, though I won't deny that it's nice. Just being able to talk to someone, completely openly, without having to hold anything back, and with total trust, is a wonderful feeling. I think, as much as we might not like to admit it, we all need it.
I am very fortunate to have friends I can really open up to. I appreciate their ability to listen to me and help me get through the hard times. I only hope that I can do the same for them, because it's one of the duties of a friend I am more than happy to fulfill.