MANY OF YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE MANY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SITES OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

I PLAN TO SHARE WITH YOU PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF THEM AS WELL AS PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF SPECIAL MEETING LOCATIONS THAT I HAVE VISITED.





Saturday, 28 March 2020

MAR 28, 20 (Part 1 of 2) .. ZOOM.US AND MY FIRST EVER ON-LINE MEETING

My welcome to the 'high tech' (at least it is 'high tech' to me) world of AA Meetings on the internet (be it via lap top / desk top / or even a smart phone) has now begun.

With so very many meetings being closed/shut down/meeting room doors locked due to the COVID-19 corona virus issue sweeping the entire planet (or so it seems) more than a casual member or two or three have asked me.. 

"Are you using on-line access to meetings?"

"No I haven't been doing that."

"Why not?"

Unable to provide even the smallest credible reply to the above simple question, I decided to look into it.

Just in case one of you reading along here is interested, here was my process.

Step 1 (sound familiar?)

Realize that I have a problem that I want to solve but that I'm not able to solve myself.

Step 2

Seek out a power greater than myself to assist me.

Step 3

Make a decision to get assistance.

Step 4 

TAKE ACTION. 

I called two of my closest allies (I'll call them Dan and Tom) for assistance. Dan is actively hosting an online / internet meeting and Tom who is trying to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish, gain access to an on-line meeting. 

How odd is this? My also uninitiated friend Tom, who knew just a smidgen more than me, managed to get me successfully online while he himself is still struggling to fully complete his task.

This is why newcomers to our program can sometimes actually be of more assistance to another newcomer that we long-timers with our decades of recovery!

Action Step 1.

I don't know why I did this, but I began by calling Tom my fellow newcomer to on-line meetings.

I was instructed by Tom that first I needed to sign into and then join something called zoom.us.

https://zoom.us/

With Tom on the phone with me, I went to the above website and said to him .. "I'm at zoom.us."

Tom said for me to look at the far upper right corner where it says .. SIGN UP, IT'S FREE.

Taking a very deep breath (after looking at all of the disclaimers such as this site uses cookies, etc) I clicked onto the SIGN UP, IT'S FREE button and I signed up with my Mongolian name (an anonymous name here in the U.S.) and established ("Lord do I really need yet another password in my life?") a password for zoom.us.

Action Step 2.

Tom then said that I needed to get with Dan who would tell me how to find 'our' meeting online and to access it using zoom.us.

Dan sent me an email with an attachment showing, not just one, but many meetings for the entire week.

Then I tried but I could NOT sign into 'our' meeting. 

Back to Dan I went who said .. 

"The meeting is not open yet. Wait until this evening at our regular meeting time and then sign into our meeting on the link I gave you."

And now, please scroll down to Part 2 of 2 below, where I will continue with..

The Rest Of This Story

Post Script .. The date of this meeting was Thursday, March the 26th 2020

MAR 28, 20 (Part 2 of 2) .. ZOOM.US AND MY FIRST EVER ON-LINE MEETING

In Part 1 of 2 above, I shared how I got interested in, and decided to explore, an on-line recovery meeting.

Now for the actual meeting itself.

I am not new to computers nor to the internet and there are some things I am unable to share with you who are either totally inexperienced or who are running other computer brands (I have a Lenovo lap top) and various operating systems (I am running Windows 10).

I am not using a smart phone. I believe that some people are and I can't imagine doing that.

You have to know how to get onto video, turn on your speakers, etc. 

So (it was actually very simple) I arrived at the meeting. I did not know about myself being either muted or able to speak into my lap top so other members could hear me. Dan led me through this simple process. In the lower left of my screen was a microphone with a vertical red line through it indicating it was muted (off). Clicking onto the icon I could then speak and be heard.

THE MEETING ITSELF

My Jury is out as to my feelings (was it good / enjoyable or not?) about my one meeting.

At a live / in-person meeting, you have the chemistry of the drive to and from the meeting and that of the meeting room itself along with the fact that you are surrounded by other attendees present. You are not literally alone. Many of us have 'our chairs' (we sit in the same location each meeting) and often 'our chairs' are comfortable for us. For some odd reason I didn't feel all that comfortable during my on-line meeting. Nor was there any pre-meeting / after-meeting socialization I am used to.

Here was a big thing for me personally.

At 'my' meetings I know many people, the attendees (to a large extent) are familiar to me. I have years of history with many of them. At my on-line meeting there were 27 members and I only knew 5 of them. So I was listening to 22 members who I'd never met nor even seen previously. Further some were not even local members but those who'd 'found' the meeting on-line even through they lived elsewhere.

In a live meeting I relax and look around. At the on-line meeting I was 'glued to' my computer screen the entire meeting. YES I KNOW I could have gotten up and walked around but I don't do this in a regular meeting. I sit and stay seated but at the same time I am not 'glued to' a computer screen. 

There were also some on again / off again transmission problems with sound and picture that were distracting to me.

I spoke with a local friend here who also had just visited an on-line meeting for the first time. My friend also had mixed feelings quite similar to mine.

Will I return? I may, at least once more. I may also try some of the very large, multi-state, on-line meetings, knowing that everyone will be a stranger.

"Does The Shadow Know?" Maybe I will publish a Part 3 in the future.

Post Script .. The date of this meeting was Thursday, March the 26th 2020