Advice for online interactions – Covenant of Hekate
Today it is perfectly normal for many of us to stay in touch with family and friends using the internet. It is convenient and with so many different devices being available now, there is something to suit nearly every need, budget and taste. We can share ideas, information, photographs and interact with other people with shared beliefs and interests many of whom we would never have met otherwise because of distance and culture.
The Covenant of Hekate uses the internet as a primary source for members to get to know each other as well as a tool for sharing information, thoughts and practices: It is a medium through which groups work together towards creating devotional and creative projects. We use the social medium platform Facebook, internet phone and video interfaces (such as Skype and G+) our website and email. Whilst these platforms provide us with excellent tools, they also present their own problems and obstacles.
This document provides some useful tips on how to communicate with other members online, what to avoid and also some useful tips for improving your own internet skills which will benefit you within our community but also in a wider sense.
1. If you are unfamiliar with a platform and you need to use it to participate in an activity, spend some time getting to know it. This might mean installing software (such as Skype) or simply looking around the website and reading the information provided. All the services we currently use are FREE of charge, and all of them have comprehensive “help” sections where you can solve problems you are facing.
The CoH does not provide technical “help” services, but if you are really stuck try posting on the private Facebook group for advice or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what can do to help.
2. Learn internet etiquette: There are many basic rules which will make things easier for you and those you interact with. Do a “google” search for long and exhaustive lists of “do’s and don’ts”. For example, you should avoid writing in ALL CAPS as this is considered “shouting” and you should definitely avoid using TXT SPK (text speak abbreviations) as well as over emotional language.
3. Remember you are interacting with other people and you don’t know everything about them. Be forgiving of their mistakes, respect their time, privacy and the space you are using for your interaction. If need be, take your personal matters to a private space such as email.
4. Obvious, I know but read and reread what you are responding to before hitting enter. Make sure you understand what is being said and if you don’t, please always ask for clarification. Avoid jumping to conclusions about what you are reading. When writing try and be clear about what you are saying so that misunderstandings will be avoided.
5. Contribute! Contribute your expertise, your thoughts, your questions and your comments. Our strength as a community relies on peer created resources. We learn from the expertise of others and we learn also through sharing our expertise, the questions and comments made by others on what we share.
(Sorita d’Este, February 2016)