Online AA vs. In-Person: What to Expect

Online AA vs. In-Person: What to Expect

Online AA vs. In-Person: What to Expect

Studies show attending AA meetings is very beneficial for recovering addicts. Read about the differences between online AA meetings and in-person meetings.

Keyword(s): online aa

For more than 80 years, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped millions of people through recovery. In fact, studies show that AA is one of the most effective pathways toward alcohol abstinence.

Since the pandemic, online AA meetings have become a popular option for many people. If you're looking to attend your first AA meeting, you may be unsure whether online or in-person meetings are best for your situation.

To figure out the right option for you, keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know!

How Does an Online AA Meeting Work?

Online AA meetings can take place at any time of the day or evening. You can access online meetings in different ways, such as:

  • Video meetings using Zoom or Skype
  • Smartphone conferencing
  • Google Meet
  • Phone meetings only
  • Live chat without video
  • Message boards

Online AA meetings give you access to the resources you need anytime. A virtual AA meeting can be in various formats. For example, you'll find closed meetings for AA members only or open meetings that allow anybody to attend.

Online meetings still take you through the 12 steps of recovery, which is the foundation of alcoholics anonymous. You'll work through these steps during online group therapy sessions. You'll also get information on upcoming meetings and recite the Serenity Prayer.

There will be a host or moderator online to run the group. They'll usually announce new members and recognize achievements to help you stay motivated to stick with the program. 

How Does an In-Person AA Meeting Work?

In-person AA meetings are the traditional format of how initial meetings began. With in-person meetings, you'll typically attend meetings at different locations like:

  • Treatment centers
  • Churches
  • Community centers
  • Offices

In-person meetings also have open and closed meetings; an AA member will run the group. You'll also start with a prayer or moment of silence and work through the 12 steps.

At in-person meetings, you'll usually get coffee and snacks and get to talk to other group participants. Additionally, in-person achievements are often recognized with AA tokens or AA coins. These coins are made to acknowledge a sobriety anniversary, and you can find coins that symbolize 24 hours of sobriety and coins for each month for the first year.

Choosing Between Online AA Meetings vs. In-Person Meetings

So, how do you decide between online vs. in-person meetings? It's best to look at the pros and cons of both types of meetings.

Pros and Cons of Online AA Meetings

If you're immunocompromised, online meetings allow you to access the benefits of AA without compromising your health. 

Online meetings are much more accessible for people with disabilities or unreliable transportation. They're also convenient if you work night or afternoon shifts. You'll still be able to find downtime to connect from home.

On the other hand, online meetings don't allow you to connect with people face to face. In addition, having a meeting from home is much more distracting.

Pros and Cons of In-Person AA Meetings

One of the biggest pros of in-person meetings is that they allow you to connect with people in your community much easier. This is because you'll be more focused and engaged with the people around you.

You'll also be more accountable for your sobriety since you see people face to face. Additionally, in-person meetings help you better develop a routine you can stick to long-term.

The primary cons of in-person meetings are that they can be risky if you have immune system problems. You also need reliable transportation, and meeting times may not coincide with work schedules.

Attend an AA Meeting Today

Now that you know the differences between online AA meetings and in-person meetings, you'll better be able to decide what type of meeting works best for you.

If you're still having trouble deciding between the two, try attending one of each and see how you feel. Either way, you'll have the support of AA meetings helping you along the path of recovery.

Don't forget to look at AA coins and tokens to celebrate your sobriety one step at a time. Visit us online today to check out our selection of coins, jewelry, gifts, and more.