I was reading this blog today
And I was reminded of why I started looking to the internet for conversations about Judaism back in the early 90s.
Back then, I sat in school, and yeshivah and found that most of the people around me just didn't want to delve into the text all that much. They didn't want to suggest new ideas, or new ways of looking at things. They never wanted to ask their own question.
Then I learned about email listserves and the internet, and I found people who were willing to have these sorts of conversations. But the problem was, they didn't want to keep shabbat or Kashrut, and it seemed that they were looking for ways out of things, and not trying to discover what the texts actually tried to teach us.
And then I found blogs like DovBear, or Gadol Hador (XGH now) and I thought to myself, finally, I'm not alone. There are other people who want to explore the texts, test out new ideas, see where things take them. They have questions and they want answers....
And that's when the reality of the internet hit me.
I have almost never seen somebody respond to the answer to thier question with a thank you. Or with a "hmm, that looks interesting, I'll have to think about that more." Nope, they just stick to thier guns, or enjoy the mockery and attention seeking and the controversy so much, that they could care less about what they are actually talking about.
The internet does not appear to be a place for real conversation like I thought it would be. It is just too hard to find the people who want to talk and reason and think. Now it's all about the ranting and the mocking and the collection of eyeballs. As one of my bosses often said, "Social Networking is anything but." It's all about "me me me", and its less and less often about the actual ideas being discussed.
We are wasting a great change in the way information is transmited between people and instead using it to stay within our own heads.