Social media is always changing. Something is hot one moment, then cold the next. The obituaries for Google+ have been around for years, yet it is still going. Perhaps not exactly the way Google imagined, but the people that use it really like it. You can count me in that group.
Facebook is the social media giant. All your “friends” are there, and most people think others are just dying to see photos of their kids, animals, dinner, or to read how great their lives are. Most aren’t, they are too busy posting their pics, showing YOU how great THEIR life is.
Because I’m a witch, I have often had two sets of social media. One for my mundane life, one for my witchcraft life. However, the last year or so has brought about some changes. Largely, I have abandoned my mundane Twitter and Google+ accounts in favor of the Pagan accounts. I use my mundane Instagram is only to follow my family and a few friends, but my witchcraft Instagram gets far more use. I have a Flipboard account under my witchcraft name, as I post a lot of links to articles in my Flipboard magazines. The only kind of blog I’ve ever had has been one devoted to Wicca/witchcraft.
That brings me to the biggie, Facebook. I have mostly stuck with my mundane account, while following a lot of Pagan/witchcraft Pages and a few groups. It’s a bit tricky, but you can hide the fact you belong or follow them from your timeline, but if you “like” something on an Craft (or any) page or post a comment in a non-closed group, people see it. Even if you belong to a closed group, a friend who might stumble across that group will see you are a member of that group. They can’t see what you post in that closed group without joining the group. But they do see you belong to a Pagan/witchcraft group.
About a year ago, I created a Facebook account for my witchcraft life. I was hesitant, since there is the whole “real name” thing. But I saw lots of other Pagans with their Craft names, so I went ahead and signed up. It was wonderful to openly follow Craft pages, join open and closed groups, and freely comment on posts. But I seemed always to go back to my mundane account.
But now I have a decision to make. In the year that I’ve had my witchcraft Facebook account, I’ve accumulated more friends than I did in years and years with my mundane account. My time is spent reading and writing about Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, and other esoteric subjects. I still follow non-Craft pages and news pages, but the majority of time is spent in the witchcraft realm.
I am tempted to make that witchcraft Facebook account my default account. However, this has ramifications. I would miss some family related stuff, some local happenings, and it would kind of screw up Facebook Messenger. Then, there is always the possibility of getting booted out of the account due to the “real name” requirement.
The easy way would be to keep my mundane account as my primary, and occasionally check in on the witchcraft account. The thing is, I’m tired of the dichotomy, tired of leading these dual online lives.
Here’s something I’ve thought about this holiday weekend. I have X number of Facebook “friends” on my mundane account. Our phone didn’t ring this weekend. Not one of my “real” Facebook friends contacted us over the holiday. In fact, the same thing has happened on every major holiday this year.
Conversely, even though I have never physically met the people on my witchcraft Facebook account, I had some really great communication with quite a few of my friends there. I was able to comment on posts I liked, and contribute to some of the groups to which I belong.
I suppose this is bigger than social media. What’s really at play here is that Wiccan and Pagan no longer describes what I do, it describes who I am. And while I’d love to shout that from the rooftops at times, there are real life implications for doing so. My wife’s job, and the effect it could have on her friendships with our friends. I really don’t care that much about me, but she sees them on a more regular basis than I, and I know some would freak about it.
This is exactly the reason I’m always envious of young people finding their Pagan paths early in life. They can surround themselves by people who accept them for who they are, and adjust their life path accordingly. Finding this path in later life, as I did, creates complications. So I’m left to deal with stuff like this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject. How do you handle this? Do you have dual accounts or have you thrown all caution to the wind? Please feel free to leave comments!
Thanks for reading.