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Social Media Benefits

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When I first started connecting with OA friends on social media, I was a bit wary about it. I was concerned it would somehow lead to a break in anonymity, even if only accidentally. I’m quite open with friends and family that I’m in OA, but I also wanted to be respectful of the Traditions and didn’t want to risk this being shared via any “public media of communication” (Tradition Eleven).

A few years down the line, I can say I’ve never had any problems occur with social media and anonymity. Social media has helped me build and strengthen my relationships with my OA friends. I’ve made sure to keep up to date with any guidelines or suggestions that are published about this, such as our Guidelines for Anonymity in the Digital World found on oa.org, and I found out about ways to protect my anonymity.

I’ve also seen social media as a useful tool in carrying the message. Members who only come to OA for a while or start to drift away from the program might stop answering phone calls. However, they often still stay connected to OA people on social media. In this way, they are getting a little reminder about our Fellowship each time they see our names or pictures pop up on their phone. It helps them remember that OA is always there for them if they want it. I know of one member in my local meeting who was in relapse for two years. One evening she was eating her binge foods when she finally realized she couldn’t carry on this way any longer. She reached out to a group member via social media and the next day was back in meetings. She got abstinent, got a sponsor, and has been a committed member of the group ever since.

For me, the benefits of using social media to stay in contact with OA members definitely outweigh any potential problems, and I’m glad to have another opportunity in my life to work my program and carry the message to others.

— Caroline M., London, England

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