Namaste readers! Especially you. :-)
The fact that I've gotten so many readers these past few days by posting about my blog in a discussion forum is quite encouraging! (Thank you, by the way!) It also has me thinking, though...thinking about what role the Internet plays in the Sanatana Dharma. Needless to say, it's a complex topic.
Discussion of Hinduism on the Internet can take many forms, but inevitably there will be arguments due to the anonymous nature of the Internet. It's the Greater Internet F**kwad Theory (look it up on Google, I'm too lazy to post it here right now :-P ), as some people inevitably get holier-than-thou about their viewpoint. I follow some basic advice when it comes to this, which I will dispense below.
My basic philosophy on the topic is this: base the validity of what you find on the Internet off of experiences you have in the real world. The Internet, being a series of tubes and all, is full of misinformation, obviously, but it can also be a great support system if you know the right people. There will always be trolls, but you can avoid confrontations with them by not feeding them (that is, not returning their provocation). Just remember not to judge a group of people by the actions of one of their number who you see on the Internet. Every group has its good and evil side.
I know there are some people who call themselves Hindu who bash Western converts like me on the Internet. But whenever I see something like that, I just remember that there are real Hindus in real life who have my back, such as the people of the Hindu Temple of Rochester. (Thank you, by the way!)
Just remember to adhere to basic common sense when talking with others on this topic. Think before you type: would you say this to the person in real life? At the same time, if someone is not following this rule with you, it's best not to engage them much, if at all; ignoring someone like that is the best policy here.
Heh...I'm normally not this authoritative. But I do hope what I've posted here will be of benefit to others. And to all who have supported my adventures on the Internet over the years: thank you from the bottom of my heart. :-)