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A (Virtual) Place to Serve

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I love service! I do! One of the things I love most is helping people make new connections. In 2016, the World Service Business Conference made changes to OA’s Statement on Public Media, allowing us to carry the message in new places and spaces around the world, and I jumped in with both feet by creating not one, but two informational social media pages. This service has had some challenging moments, but more than that, it has been a wonderful experience to have front-row seats in this new adventure.

The initial concerns expressed by others were focused on how much we’d have to moderate online conversations, but in more than a year, I’ve only had to act as a moderator two times.

Our main focus is to offer up information to newcomers and longtimers alike, one link at a time, that can be read and shared. This is a program of attraction, not promotion, so we seek to provide helpful links to pages and documents hosted on oa.org. One of the many wonders of this service has been being able to see what people choose to share, and where.

In this service, I’ve also found a good many surprises. There are questions from people around the world: “How do I find meetings?” “How does OA work?” And then there’s the occasional, “How can my group or service body create a web page?” Some inquiries are general while others have been quite specific. Once, I received a note from someone trying to find a sponsor in Region Nine. With a bit of research, I was able to direct them to the region’s website link for finding sponsors. Cool! They thanked me, and it was a wonderful way to give service.

Another time we were contacted by someone who was in poor health and had not been able to get to a meeting in a long while. During this interaction, I was able to introduce this member to telephone and online meetings. (Unfortunately, in some places OA’s virtual services are a well-kept secret.) This internet conversation just so happened to fall on the day of one of our holiday marathons, so I encouraged the person to dial in, and so did I. Our HP loves this sort of serendipity in service, and so do I.

Recently, I was contacted by someone who had been doing service as a moderator in a social-media-based group who wanted to know more about OA virtual services. Things in this corner of the world have been changing so quickly that we’ve had ongoing conversations filled with revelations. This member had a desire to create a non-real-time meeting on Facebook. It was my great honor to introduce them to our virtual services trustee, and now we have the very first registered OA meeting on Facebook, Overeaters Anonymous Heart to Heart Meeting (group #99023).

OA truly is a worldwide Fellowship, and I am continually amazed and humbled to be part of it. Thank you for giving me a place to serve.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Virtual News newsletter

Our Guidelines for Anonymity in the Digital World can help you keep to Tradition Eleven while using social media to work your program. Find it at oa.org/documents under “Guidelines.”

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