I can't help but be reminded of the interactive TV "family" described in "Fahrenheit 451".
I'm an old-timer who used to haunt dial-up BBS forums before the interwebs came along. I enjoy the instant access and the ability to meet people that you wouldn't run into otherwise. The latter can be a blessing and a curse though.
I look at BBS-style forums as a unique way of interaction that can lead to great friendships and more. But I personally don't see it as a replacement for, or equal to a real family. I like hanging out in places like this, but IMO nothing beats face to face, flesh and blood contact with others.
Aside from that, it is what we make of it collectively. IME this is one of the better places without a doubt.