The AOL crowd showed up in the mid 90's and essentially destroyed the original internet culture. This was not an improvement.
Well, AOL was merely the beginning of what was probably inevitable any way. Besides, Usenet(where AOL crowd's presence were really felt) is only a small part of the internet, and I'd say the internet is overall more useful place now because of its universal access.
That said, I do miss the old Usenet. There just isn't anything quite like it, and I don't think there can ever be anything like it again.
Now immagine you are locked up between four concrete walls with a toilet and bed. The first few days (Week at the very most) will probably be nice and relaxing. Afterwards I will just simply be going insane from boredom..
I don't disagree that solitary confinement would suck, but for for me, it'd be because of the confinement part. Some people just does not have a problem with boredom part. Growing up as an only child, I have never really felt boredom much less any sense of loneliness. I'm not some weird anti social shut in either. I've always had friends and now a wife with a child. I don't think my social skill is terribly different from most people. I just never had a need to rely on it.