In Arguing with Friends (and elsewhere on my blog) I have strongly suggested that we should spend more time discussing these major life issues in person rather than through electronic communication. This article beautifully illustrates my point and the image of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings is absolutely spot on. As a general rule I think most people need to completely avoid internet discussions because the risk of damaging relationships is just so high that it offsets any possible advantages that electronic communication might offer.
But, there is another side to this discussion; internet dialogue has its place.
There are some people who are equipped for this, and can handle it quite well. Even so, I dare say very few people are properly equipped to handle these kinds of conversations, and I would also suggest that those who are so equipped need to be incredibly mindful of themselves and the other person as they do so. This article provides some insights on the other side of the coin, completely with appropriate caution.
So there you have a couple of articles to help guide the extent to which you get involved in internet dialogue, and guide the form that your dialogue should take. Read them and consider carefully what they say. Much damage has been done – and much good as well – on the internet so this weapon of nuclear strength must be handled with extreme caution.