Are Internet Forums a Sad Waste of Time?


Due to recent health problems in my family, I’ve been unable to attend services at a Buddhist temple. This has left me posting on internet forums to have some sort of Buddhism-related outlet, and it’s driving me cuckoo.

More often than not, posters on Buddhist forums get into petty metaphysical debates, rather than discussing how the Buddha’s teachings can be applied to one’s day-to-day life, which isn’t really helpful to anyone:

Whereas some brahmans and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, are addicted to debates such as these — ‘You understand this
doctrine and discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine and
discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline?
You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. I’m being consistent.
You’re not. What should be said first you said last. What should be
said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been
refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try
to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains
from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

To make matters worse, some forum moderators like getting into power trips, and will censor posts that disagree with their personal opinions, whether or not forum rules are being violated.

While I’d like to think I get more good than bad from internet forums, this is usually not the case. It just leaves me even more depressed that I am not currently able to attend services at a real temple.