In this week's reading Richard Cutler in chapter 21 talks about how individuals online begin to trust each other. As each person within the online community begin to reveal more personal information about themselves, they become more connected to each other and start to develop a more intimate relationship. He explains that intimacy of others is a basic human need so as we expose ourselves online and it reciprocated by others, we begin to see a bond between individuals form. Sometimes to the point where individuals want to meet face-to-face.
While this is true, overall I see this more so an illusion where intimacy is not necessarily real. There are too many unanswered questions in an online relationship that can only be answer in a face-to-face interaction. Without physical presence it seems the user is having an intimate relationship with a name on screen. I feel that not until they meet in person can it be confirmed. I'm sure those who have experienced an online relationship of some sort would dispute this idea.