Over on FetLife there was a thread basically saying the internet has harmed the lifestyle community because of the people who want free rides and hide behind profiles....and asked if others felt the same way.
My reply slightly edited to take out name of someone I agreed with and to help clarify my view...
I think with or without the internet there are people who want a free ride. Even vanilla people. I don't think that it is exclusive to the internet community or just the lifestyle community. Yes it is annoying people hide behind profiles but again we can find people that lie face to face so it isn't much different to me.
If it weren't for the internet I am not sure I would have known there were others out there with similar kinky thoughts and interests.
I moved to Colorado from Cleveland, Ohio where there was a BDSM community and now I live in a smallish town now with NO lifestyle community. So online interaction with others in the lifestyle -- I value.
Also Master and I first started communication via online.
So yeah I value the online community.