Friends -- and family -- are important. Maybe the challenge for some people is that an online venue is an uncomfortable or unfamiliar way for them to make friends. I know that I find myself uncomfortable with the use of forums and chat rooms to get to know people.
(I find it odd, too, that this is the case, because I have been using computers since before Microsoft went public. You'd think I'd have figured it out by now ... oh, now you know how old and decrepit I have become!)
I think the reason some men and women block or don't respond to an email or smile may be something to do with the our loss of letter-writing skills. Back in the day, writing letters to friends was routine ... until we lost that art, perhaps as a result of the expanded use of telephones.
I think that most people these days are so unused to the idea of getting to know people simply through writing that we forget that we have to be honest and thoughtful in our written communications. I also think that the expanded use of social media, with rapid-fire responses to jokes and pokes and likes and thumbs ups and all of that has diminished the quality of our communications.
To write well includes the need to be slow and thoughtful, careful and honest, deliberate and intentional.
My two cents.