As we navigate this new, virtual world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more recovery support meetings are being offered online. RCA’s Alumni Association has been offering virtual recovery support meetings since March and continues to offer these meetings virtually. From daily Big Book readings, to Alumni speaker meetings, to spiritual services – we’ve got something for everyone! Though most of our meetings follow traditional meeting formats and etiquette suggestions such as avoiding cross-talk and using “I” statements, there are a few new rules that we have developed for our online meeting format so that everyone joining at home has a positive experience. Check out our top 6 etiquette suggestions to keep in mind as you begin to join our virtual support community:
Stay on mute – In online meetings, background noise can be a distraction for the person sharing or reading, and for the group as a whole. While we try to monitor this, you can do your part by using the mute feature. If you wish to participate by sharing or reading, please raise your hand in the chat – when it’s your turn, the chairperson will notify you, at which point you may unmute yourself.
Stick around – Traditional in-person meeting formats frown upon side conversation during meetings, and the same applies to online meetings. If you wish to converse with your peers, please feel free to do so after the meeting. We understand that the time spent chatting amongst your peers after each meeting is beneficial for your recovery, so we have allotted 15 minutes in which we will keep the room open for post meeting discussion.
Watch your language – Due to the special circumstances that these online meetings are being held, be aware that there may be children present. Because of this, be sure to keep all conversation relevant and refrain from using profanity.
It’s okay to not be seen– We do understand that you are busy, and these meetings can often be a great opportunity to multitask. Maybe you have some laundry to fold or dishes to take care of – that’s okay, the important thing is that you come to hear the message. If you have other things to do during a meeting, please be mindful and turn your video feature off as it can be distracting for others.
Share the time – Though we offer many meetings each day, our time together per meeting is limited. Given that these meeting rooms are not limited by the number of physical seats, there may be many members present. To ensure that everyone to get something out of each meeting, please make it a point to keep your shares under 5 minutes.
Be aware of gender – If you’re looking to build a network of Alumni supports, our RCA virtual meetings are a great way to do so! However, it is important to be aware that most of these meetings are mixed gender. Because of this, try to be mindful of what you are sharing and keep sensitive topics to a more general nature. If you do wish to share topics that are more sensitive, please privately message someone from the group. It is advisable that women contact other women for support and men contact men. Doing so helps members of the group stay focused on their personal recovery.
If you are interested in joining our group of RCA alumni, friends and family, virtually, check out our schedule of events, which includes everything from meetings and book clubs, to fun and competitive entertainment. Need a little extra help logging onto virtual meetings rooms? Click here for some helpful tutorials by Webex – the platform we use to host our online meetings.