The internet has certainly changed the hobby. Whether it is better or merely different though is an open question.
The intenet allows me to accumulate larger forces with less trouble and cost than if I had to pick them up from shops. OTOH with my local shop now long gone, running out of red paint no longer means a quick run to the store. It instead means production gets shut down until another jar has been ordered and arrives and I then find time to start back up again. The closing of our local shop also meant the end of my son's involvement in the hobby since he no longer could simply choose an item he liked when he tagged along with Dad on one of those store runs.