Online AA Meetings

Online AA meetings are a great alternative to the real thing. Whether they be needed because of the current coronavirus outbreak, because of a disability or your remote location, they provide a way to stay in touch with the fellowship and keep your recovery fresh.

Online AA meetings come in a variety of formats, just like regular meetings. At some sharing is done by the selection of the secretary, at others members simply need to raise their hand to share. Excitingly, because of the wider audience of online AA meetings, there is an increasing number of specialised study meetings to benefit from also.

But online meetings present their own challenges to the traditions – anonymity in particular. Here are few suggestions on how to help protect your anonymity and privacy during online meetings.

Online AA Meeting Safety

  • Make sure that your shared name is your first name and initial only, or just your initials if you prefer.
  • Be mindful of what is in the background of your camera.
  • Think about what you share. Perhaps some very personal details are best saved for your sponsor or close friend.
  • Don't feel pressured into using your camera if you prefer not to.

Online AA meetings can seem daunting to begin with, especially since the technology might be new to you. Most meetings use Zoom or Skype and both services offer excellent guidance on how to join and create meetings. To make your online meeting experience as straightforward as possible, it’s worth taking some time before a meeting to install and learn about the software. Below are links to a few tutorials to help you.

Online AA meetings run more smoothly when participants respect a few simple guidelines. These help to reduce distractions and maintain focus.

Online Meeting Suggestions

  • Make sure that your microphone is muted when you are not speaking.
  • Keep your focus on the meeting so as not to unintentionally offend those sharing or turn off your camera if you need to nip off.
  • Remain patient. Sometimes the technology can be patchy and there can be lag (delays) in a participant's broadcast.

Lastly, if you are responsible for setting up or running an online AA meeting with Zoom, GSO have published some useful guidance on ensuring that the meetings remain as secure and safe as possible. Follow the link below for an easy-to-read version on the Chiltern & Thames Intergroup website.