I find it almost as difficult making friends on the Internet as I do in real life now, lol. I wouldn't get too attached to people from online if I were to give advice. I was really close to this girl, I actually considered her a true friend and she stopped ****ing talking to me once she got popular. So much for giving a ****, I guess. It was just as sad as losing my real life best friends, actually. But that shouldn't stop you from forming causal relation and being friendly with people online. And a lot of people say you can be more honest and be yourself, which is totally true in my case. I pretend I barely even know anything about Pokemon in real life and I pretend none of my real interests exist. Most people have to have some sort of social outlet, and if you don't have a substantial amount of people to interact with in reality this can be a significant filler. But really, the better option is always reality.
Off of the friendship page, I think the Internet is the greatest resource of anything EVER :D I can learn so much about any subject I choose, if I dig hard enough I find any book or movie I want, and I can get help understanding school subjects. Really this is a vast trove of learning opportunities, you just have to double check information.
I don't have a smartphone, and even if I did I wouldn't go online at school or whatever. I'd be too afraid of getting caught. But yeah, I see kids CONSTANTLY twiddling their thumbs on those damn phones throughout every class period. Any they wonder why they get bad grades :/