The following excerpt is from the Presentations section of the 67th General Service Conference Final Report. The sub-title Communication — Today and Tomorrow is under the Growth heading.
With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, A.A. has adapted by adding the use of the Internet to its own methods of communication and by developing guidelines to mark our presence on the web and to define ways in which our members can make use of social media. Yes, the times have changed, and, yes, our movement has kept on top of these changes and has adapted to them with caution. Social media in particular has opened new frontiers to explore and utilize to efficiently extend the hand of A.A. to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Bill and the pioneers of A.A. would probably be shocked by Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Skype, and without a doubt by the phenomenon of the universality of the smartphone. At the same time, they would have surely seen the huge potential of assuring, and possibly increasing, the importance and recognition of our association. And so, based on our past experience, they would have been the first to encourage a thoughtful approach.
Over the years, different aspects of our movement have faced turning points in regard to all of these new channels of communication and the behaviors they have generated.
The ways in which people get informed and communicate have changed. The number of options — instant messaging, texting and email, constant searching online — has made us talk less and less in person and amongst ourselves. We “like” and we “poke” and we text from one room to another, or from one end of the world to the other. Amongst us, within our own structure, we are seeing symptoms of communication that leave much to be desired. There is a large gap between the General Service Conference and the individual members of A.A. Is there a breakdown in communication between groups, G.S.R.s, D.C.M.s and the area steering committees?
How do we remedy this? And what can we say about the distance between the Conference and the alcoholic still suffering on the street corner?
We can surely say that the 21st century is well underway, and that we must jump into all of the modern and current modes of communication at our disposal to carry the message and make people aware of A.A. But, most importantly, our thoughts and this jump into modern times should be done through the structure that has served us so well until now: the inverted triangle.
—end of excerpt—
Thomas G., Southwest Québec
For continuation of this, and other complete presentations, see your GSR. Every Group should have a single Hard Copy of the Final Report. They should be available for pick-up at the October District 11 meeting.
Online Continuations are planned to become available as they are uploaded. Note that the Online Versions are ‘Anonymity Protected’ and are permissible for Online use.