"Why would you do it this way?"
"Why would you choose that?"
"Is there a reason why you do that?"
In the context of simply reading these questions, they seem innocent enough, but if you were to read these in the comments of your post, in the response to a comment, or in your direct messages anywhere on the internet, it seems to immediately become an argument.
Social media has so many positives, but it is seeming to have just as many if not more negatives these days. Internet drama, backlash, cancel culture, laughing at trauma and straight up cyber bullying are becoming shockingly more common.
You have the generation that grew up just passed the beginnings of social media, the generation that remembers their first trip onto the internet, (my) generation where most of our internet time was scheduled, the generation after that doesn't remember life without the internet and the generation after that which grew up saving, commenting, posting and liking. Literally anyone of any age can be online at any given time, which makes misunderstandings and arguments more common.
If you were having a conversation with someone, or working alongside a coworker, and they asked "why are you doing it 'x' that way?", you would be able to gauge the question based on their tone and body language, but online it seems that the possibility if that question being pure curiosity, and not an attack, somehow doesn't seem viable.
Assuming that every question you're asking is confrontational, is creating more anxiety for both yourself and others in the online world. What should be asked of yourself is, why do I instantly feel attacked by this question?
Is it because you can't give a concrete answer, or something beyond "because this is how I practice," and you're not sure you want to get into a debate to defend yourself? Or is it because you know that something you might be doing is cultural appropriation? Did you blindly follow someone's advice and now someone new is questioning it when you didn't think to and now you're losing your confidence?
It's difficult not to immediately get your back up, as a Taurus Sun, Cap Moon, I know hands down what being (stupidly) stubborn is like. To the point where I have gotten into an embarrassingly amount of online fights over my time on the internet that wasted so much of my precious time and energy. Hell, some of my break ups were over MSN, text and Facebook.
Witch witchcraft specifically, there are so many ways to practice, and most often it seems that unless you're Wiccan or following a very specific path (like Hedge Witchery,) your craft is primarily intuitive. This makes it hard to defend yourself if you are being attacked or questioned by witches that think they are above you and others.
We are all, always, on a learning journey. Just because you might know a lot about one thing or a few things, doesn't mean someone won't know just as much or more about the same topics. As well, they might know way more about one specific topic that you know nothing about. The internet has provided so many creators, bloggers, and teachers that readily give out information. Most of them preface their teachings if it is something they personally practice, making sure that the reader knows this is not law, this is unverified personal gnosis.
The point of this, is that before you come to a knee jerk reaction or let your anger take hold when someone uses the word "why", take a deep breath and lean back. Think about this, is this someone who is possibly trying to learn more? Is this someone that could just be trying to understand because they know that their perception could not be correct?
Furthermore, if you find that someone wants to argue with you in the comments, one of the best ways I've found to diffuse their fire is to personally message them. If someone wants to argue with me, they can do it one on one. If they're going to try and use other commentors to create a scene or bash someone on their social media, it's clear they don't have the courage or desire to actually learn or come to an understanding, they just feed off the drama. A simple "this doesn't need to be a comment battle, if you'd like to discuss we can message." Plain, simple, to the point and opens up a space.
Does this mean these people will be nice? No. They may not even respond, and if they choose to take the low road, you are not responsible for that and are not required to interact with them.
The internet is a damn wild place and we're all just trying to enjoy it, so try and let enjoyment triumph.
Image by Chenspec on Pixabay
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