The Perfect Internet Behavior Models
Related to this model and a testament to the world of technology as I write this is that the world of internet forums and online interaction has exploded, and so it is now worth including “the perfect internet behavior model”, in which awakened beings will automatically post, email, text, tweet, etc., exactly what your specific ideals of perfection dictate that they would. As numerous online dharma forums have clearly demonstrated, there is, unfortunately, only the loosest of correlations between levels of deep insight and the way that those with some realization interact online.
Some people are kind and respectful, some abrasive and mean, some trollish, some power-hungry, some needy of attention, others needy of being liked or validated, some put out only the safest of whitewashed politically correct platitudes, others dive into the edgy world of online flame wars at the drop of a hat, and some blast others without any apparent regard for their feelings at all. Just as there are lots of different personality styles, just so internet personas vary in those with deep insight and in those without. I have seen all these and many more from people who have extremely strong practices, so those who imagine that awakened people will meet their high ideals in the online world are very likely to be disappointed.
Further, those who judge online practitioners by the personality traits of their posts are also likely to be some degree of wrong regarding how these relate to their actual practice, insights, and abilities. Again, there is often some correlation, but you would be amazed at how easy it is to be wrong about who is on the other end of that keyboard when you can’t see them (and even when you can). These basic rules of the Internet apply just as well to online dharma as they do to everything else. There are people with great abilities and wisdom who do a poor job of representing themselves in text form, and plenty who really are not that talented, accomplished, or wise who manage to do a great job at internet advertising. It is again disappointing, but that is the way of the internet, as well as the rest of the world.