This topic came up on 'He who shall not be named's' FB wall this evening and this was my response:
When I was in the car a little while ago the radio host and a psychologist were discussing this very situation.. The Dr said that because of online social media this type of thing is happening with increasing frequency..We have started to become a society that is incredibly drawn into the pats on the back that we get from people we don't even know.. He said "How many times have you seen somebody get very hurt feelings because somebody did respond to their FB comment..Good grief how many times have we seen that happen in the Forums? He said the younger the people inolved are the more likely they are to really think they are actually involved in a relationship with someone they never met..We need to remember that for all his physical build this is still a kid psychologically..
I would tend to believe that too - I teach high schoolers, and have witnessed how much they invest in online relationships - even with the kids that they see at school every day.