"It's not real life, it's the internet" is a lie. The internet is part of real life and sometimes, as Borepatch is wont to say, it speaks in it's outside voice.
If it was just data, banking, commerce, electricity grid management and the like, the internet would still be a revolution. We wouldn't see it, and would neither know nor care that it existed. If you added information, news, encyclopedias, dictionaries and education, it still would only be a tool, like a electronic textbook.
What we think of as the internet, however, is the part that serves as a tool we can use to connect to other people. Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Skype, and so on. We connect to people we know when separated by time and distance. Sometimes we connect to people we have never met and perhaps will never meet. We only know them as pictures and words on a screen.
Still, it is the human connection that makes it important.
Sometimes it's casual, a comment left on a blog while link hopping. Sometimes something you read strikes a chord and you bookmark it, it becomes a regular stop. And once in a while the connection becomes important. You can't explain that, any more than you can explain why someone you met working in a restaurant 40 years ago became a lifelong friend. It's part of the vagaries of being human.
The internet makes the world smaller, more connected, and at it's best, it may be the most marvelous invention humans have yet created.