So what I like about internet discussion – forums/facebook/youtube is that it is not constrained by physical space.
In real life discussions, you HAVE to be in the same physical space, and that will somewhat restrict and homogenize your thinking – especially if the environment you are in when the discourse is taking place is rule-bounded both in its initial design and whatever one chooses to impose on the space afterwards.
In other words, different architecture spaces are specifically designed to entail certain types of behaviors, thought patterns, and ways of interaction (think of Churches and university classrooms) Also, you can’t cuss each other out in real life and just down right call another person a faggot in formal and closely contained spaces like a court or an office. and you can create other comfort zones to suit yourself by avoiding to sit with or talk to people you don’t like, and you certainly have more faee to save. By the self-conscious/insecurity/fears (or lack of it) factors these factors entail, it can shut down some of your more outside the box thoughts and refrain you from doing and saying what you really are thinking.
But on the internet, people sometimes come up with more creative and intelligent thoughts and let them flow around instantly without boundaries of time and space. ( think about how a youtube video can be watched 5 years after it was shot, but a physical interaction/discourse can only happen…NOW).
People from different physical space and time and from all corners of the world can jump into to same discussion, while bringing a lot of different ideas because they are from different places, are unbounded by certain social and psychological and physical roles of real life.
However, internet spaces like Youtube and Facebook and different types of forums DO have restriction and rules, and also tend to attract to attract similar types of people to the same social networks.
So this brings me to the opposite side of the perspective. Come to think about it, maybe rule-bounded, physical, and organized spaces of certain type of intimacy ARE better for good discourses.
Maybe talking about Freud in a psychology class at Harvard gets you further than discussing him in the comment section of Psychology.com.
Haven’t really made up my mind yet. but I think it’s a good idea to slide back and fourth between the internet and “real life”, pick and choose where and when to be in either spaces and bounce around between rules and non-rule, between physical spaces that close us (or open us up), and cyber spaces that opens us up (or close us down).