In response to Kirstin's post from earlier this week about the stories of leukemia, suicide, etc. I don't think you can feel anything close to the emotion of the people telling those stories when you read them in an online "village" or message board. I think emotion is the greatest restriction on Internet communication (email, IM, etc). THE ONLY THING WE'VE ESTABLISHED IS HOW TO MAKE IT SEEM AS THOUGH WE ARE YELLING BY PUTTING THINGS IN ALL CAPS!!! (which I was whispering in my head as I typed by the way, but you had no idea of this irony...)
As far as online discourse goes, it's just straight up ill. For those of us who have just the slightest sarcastic disposition, things said online are often taken entirely out of context or have a tendency to make the author look like an idiot. How about sympathy? Compassion? Love? It's all in the mind of the reader, not in the emotion of the sender. Completely bogus for any sort of real sense of feeling.