Online AA Meetings vs Traditional AA Meetings

These days, technology has become a big part of our lives, influencing many things from our entertainment, information feeds, and even social interactions. Oftentimes, social gatherings that used to be done exclusively in person have started to integrate methods to be conducted through online meetings and venues. One kind of social gathering that has become popular in this format are forums and lectures about various topics. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are no exception to these kinds of online social set-ups. The Alcoholics Anonymous format of discussions lends itself well to being done online since there is not much physical interaction, if at all during the meeting themselves, it is done exclusively through discussions and the verbal sharing of information. 

Whether or not you choose to attend AA meetings online or by traditional means, each would have their own benefits. Most of the benefits would have to do with the venue with which these meetings are held. 

Online Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings can be accessed anywhere

The best and most apparent benefit that an online AA meeting would have is that it can be accessed from anywhere, no matter where the person is staying. This means that a person does not have to go through the difficulties of finding the location of the AA meeting or that they have to go out each time. This can be very helpful for people having a difficult time coping with having to go to the outside world while they are on their journey to sobriety. This offers them the opportunity to stay in whatever space that they consider safe for themselves and it is less likely for them to experience triggers.

Having meetings online would also allow people to be able to more regularly and easily attend AA meetings since they can join the meeting at the tap of a couple buttons. There’s no need to travel long distances back and forth. It is possible to attend a meeting at the comfort of your own home.

AA Meetings can be more anonymous online

Even if Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have an important rule of staying anonymous by keeping everything that happens within the AA group itself, attending AA meetings through traditional methods cannot get around the fact that you still have to be there in person. As part of the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the rule of anonymity has to be treated with the utmost respect for those that are participating. Of course, the same cannot be said for people that are outside the organization as there is always the possibility that people outside the organization may meet you just as you are entering or leaving a meeting. You can do your best to cover up your face with various accessories but, in the end, your physicality and other general features could still show through. 

Some online AA meetings do not require that the camera be turned on for the discussions. This means that, other than for a person’s voice and display name, there can be true anonymity between the members. When people can be as anonymous as this online, it can allow them to be more open and less worried about sharing aspects about their journey to sobriety that they would otherwise be uncomfortable sharing if they were doing it in person.

It’s easier to find and try out different AA Meetings online

Since there is no heavy travelling involved with online AA meetings, finding one is as simple as looking through an online listing, registering if it is a requirement, or simply joining the link to the online forum at the right time. This allows people to try out different meetings with ease and it is also just as easy to leave early in case they find that the meeting isn’t exactly for them.

One of the difficulties with starting out in attending AA meetings is finding one in a close by in a convenient location. Then there are also a lot of other things to factor in such as getting along with the other participants and feeling comfortable with the particular way that things are conducted in each meeting. Since joining an online AA discussion is much easier to do, attending online Alcoholics Anonymous sessions can be a good option for beginners. It is a great way to get into the organization, make some connections, and even get further recommendations on where to proceed in case there’s a desire to try out the meetings in person.

Traditional AA meetings will always have a more human touch

Despite all of the benefits and conveniences that online meetings can afford for its participants, traditional, in-person meetings will always have a more human touch. It is always easier to communicate in person and there won’t have to be any worries about a faulty internet connection or having slow internet speed for a particular day. It’s also much easier to communicate since it’s easier to pick-up on more aspects of communication such as gestures, volume of voice, and facial expressions and cues. Having an actual physical venue or a space especially prepared for discussions, meetings, and sharing experiences is also beneficial as it can give off a particular vibe or mood that can make the atmosphere more conducive to such activities.

The will to become sober is the same no matter what

Whatever venue you choose to attend AA meetings, they are both still journeys to sobriety. Having more options on how to attend is always a good thing. It just means that there is a wider reach for different kinds of people who may not necessarily have the capability to attend meetings in the traditional manner. In the end, it’s all a matter of going on that journey. After spending some time and making progress, it can also be a good idea to check the sobriety calculator to be able to look back on your journey.