The Internet is an opportunity for Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans to interact, connect, and share. In general, it is a vibrant and open community. However like any other online interactions, there are some common sense things everyone can do to be safe while online.
Personally, I have never had issues online with trolls or people bashing the Craft. So while I’m encouraging you to be cautious on the Internet, I also want to stress that you shouldn’t be afraid to get involved and that your life can become so enriched from learning from others in the digital world.
- Be Careful: I guarantee you’ve heard this before, but never give out personal information on the Internet. Seriously. Let’s all have common sense, people.
- Develop a Digital Craft Name: Again, just a good safety tip. Also increasingly, employers and job agencies are starting to really investigate prospective employees’ online activity. While anti-discrimination laws prevent employers from discriminating against candidates based on religion, if you plan to keep your professional and Pagan lives separate (but want to participate in the online Pagan community) then come up with a Craft name specifically for the digital world. This is especially true if you work in a conservative field (i.e. law, some libraries, the corporate world, etc.).
- Pick Your Platform Wisely: Social media and blog mediums attract all sorts of people. However, some platforms are friendlier than others and some communities have had a history of issues. For example in contrast for the past few years, the Youtube and Tumblr witch and Pagan communities has dealt with a lot of negativity and trolls. As just a general guideline, the more prominent the social media platform the more likely you will be to encounter bullies and trolls. So if you’re on the introverted side, stick to a blog platform like WordPress or Blogger. If you’re a little more extroverted, then go ahead and choose a more public platform.
- Watch for Trolls: Trolls are another word for bullies. The hallmark of a troll is persistent, nasty, and targeted attacks on your site. Block the user from your site and report them to the WordPress, Tumblr, or Youtube immediately.
- Embrace Plurality: The beauty of the online Pagan community is how diverse and open we are about talking about our paths. Naturally, you are not going to agree with everyone and that’s okay. You’re still going to learn something valuable from that person. Also not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll or is personally attacking you. Use your common sense when differentiating between someone initiating a discussion and someone being mean.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the online Pagan, Wiccan, and Witch community (but also want a little guidance), let me know. Also, the lovely Ember HoneyRaven a.k.a Youtube’s BigFatWitch has agreed to talk to anyone interested in getting involved in Youtube’s Pagan, Wiccan, and Witch community. I encourage everyone to reach out and make friends.
© Ariadne Woods