I’ve been hosting an interactive forum on the Web for the past 7 years. Our community is made up of people with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and their families and friends. The nature of these diseases is such that sufferers tend to be socially isolated, and finding each other on the Web has opened up a social life that many of us have not had for a long time. There have been at least two marriages between members who met on the site. Upwards of two dozen of us at a time have met in person in various locations around the United States.

Bill Robertson
Boston, Mass.

I would like to address the fluff piece “The Social Net,” about the pros and cons of Internet use. I am surprised that it somehow managed to omit the very real and serious threat of the epidemic of Internet addiction and failed marriages. Real people with deep and dark problems create even more despair by escaping online. This is no different from any other addiction.

Elaine Reinhold
New Market, Md.