Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

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Ken_the_Geordie
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Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

I'm quite a fan of You Tube, and I've recently purchased a video camera, and I've been nursing a not cast in concrete idea to upload a short series of You Tube clips regarding my experience of AA. The headings for each ten minute clip would go something like an introduction and my share followed by how I work/ed the steps.

Anyway, each ten minute 'item' could cover my share, and then ten minutes on each of my experience of how I worked the steps; or something like that. I'm not after advice on the exact format just yet.

And I also honestly do not care who knows if I am an alcoholic or not; my personal anoninimity is not important to me, nor my occupation; and my family aren't to bothered who knows or doesn't know either. So local public knowledge (if it does become an issue, which I doubt it would), would be of no concern to me.

Now, I'm not sure I'm going to actually do this; to be honest it's not ego driven, in fact I'm frightened of looking 'nerdy' if anything; but I think it could be fun, so if I do it, that's the reason. Secondary, it could help carry the message; I've not seen anything on You Tube like this at present; but there is a lot of anti-AA, derogatory stuff on that site (is AA a Cult and that ilk). And if I did do the uploads, I would also add a disclaimer that no-one speaks for or on behalf or represents AA etc.

So what I'm after is some feedback from you guys. We're in a new age of modern communications (and all that).

So what's your thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Not really bothered since its no big deal really? Tell me! :mrgreen:
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Layne
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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Layne »

To me it seems to run contrary to tradition 11 and tradition 12. We hold open meetings, but we do so behind closed doors. Your idea not only opens the doors, it also removes the walls.

I realize that you are talking about only your appearance and your shares and you don't care about your own anonymity, but I feel it still impacts the group. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

No offense, but something just doesn't quite sit right with me about it that I find difficult to put into words.

Of course before responding, perhaps I should actually watch some "You Tube"! :idea: :mrgreen:

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Steven F »

Anonymity is about a lot more than someone knowing you are an alcoholic, of course.

Anonymity protects our fellows, AA as a whole, and yourself. Even if you don't see it as an ego-thing right now, comments to what you do may very well turn it into just that. On a medium like that, you will get attacked, and you will get praised. How will you deal with either? Will you feel in a position of authority ("I am teaching something")? What will you do with the discussions we have in all rooms of AA (about God, about the necessity of the steps, about just about everything)? Will you voice opinion? If not, how can you offer the true undistorted uninterpreted message of the big book - other than by just reading the big book out loud (would be a boring show :-)). Will you resent a particular comment? Will you stick to talking about your experience or be tempted to say things that are not really in your heart?

Besides, you are probably "thinking this through". I'm not sure how much guidance from a higher power is involved, if you know what I mean. It is interesting to me that every other speaker on tape talks about how they don't like doing those talks, and that they figure they couldn't say anything relevant without guidance. It is even more striking to me that all these speakers who approach it in this way seem to have something different to say to everyone who listens, even if the words are the same and the tape is identical. I'm sure there is a lesson in that.

Don't get me wrong - I don't doubt your motives. I'm just wary that you may find one day that the "motives behind the motives" were not as pure as you see them today, and then you may have a bit of a problem. After all, what is done is done. Especially on the Internet.

If I were you (and yes, I also had the urge to carry the message a bit more aggressively), I would leave this one be. A bit like "Thank you, mind - nice one, but no thanks!". I would have loved to point you to successful examples or horror stories, but I don't know of any. Me personally, I would only embark on something like this If I had a clear, undoubted, repeated instruction from my personal God. And even then I probably would get some people to group-meditate on it or something. When in doubt...

Then there is the "attraction not promotion" issue. TV was also "modern communication" some years ago, but I don't think Bill W ever hosted a tv show. Or any of the celebrities who are in AA, for that matter. There must be a reason for that.

Thanks for posting the question. It is an interesting one, and one way or another, every "active recovered alcoholic" comes across something like this.

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Toad »

Howdy,
My name is Wayne T. and I am an Alcoholic. Just yesterday I and My Alanon wife were talking of the changing face of A.A.
We have walked the road of recovery together since May of 1979. We have watched so very many changes happen. I did not post a bio on this site cause it is difficult to just go somewhere with over 30 years of being carried by the program Alcoholics Anonymous and stand up. A. A. is every where on TV and the movies. It seems to be fashionable these days to include it in the plots of movies and TV shows. Going to rehab has become "popular". There is a ton of "recovery" websites.
It may seem that the "anonymous" part is long gone. A.A. is a Spiritual program by nature. In order to access the "fourth dimension" certain experiences need to take place in the individual. This seems to happen in real life in real time.
GSO is very careful with the internet. There may be a reason for that.
When I see all the "popularizing " of the QUIETLY ANONYMOUS" program , I feel fear. I know that is My fear not yours.
I as an old timer need to question the"not ego driven" part of the post. 30 years of very hard work on my self and the power of the the program still is revealing new forms of my ego that is constantly "recuperating".
DR. Bob's last words to Bill W. were "Lets not louse this thing up" Keep it simple.
Much respect for willingness to carry the message,
Toad

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Dean C »

From Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 184): "The spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice. Because A.A.'s Twelve Traditions repeatedly ask us to give up personal desires for the common good, we realize that the sacrificial spirit -- well symbolized by anonymity -- is the foundation of them all. It is A.A.'s proved willingness to make these sacrifices that gives people their high confidence in our future."

Perhaps consider working with some newcomers instead.
"Whatever can be said can be said clearly."
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Ken_the_Geordie
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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

Well, I've read through your most helpful posts and I have gained a better understanding of the Traditions. I'll put my idea in the bin and thank you all for your time.

If anyone else wishes to add anything, please feel free.

Cheers guys.

Regards,

Ken. :mrgreen:
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Blue Moon »

Perhaps you need to consider your motives.

How I carry the message is up to me. But the concept of "personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and film" can be a grey area. This forum, for example, is in the public domain. But my personal identity is not really in this forum beyond the recovery message I share.

And I would caution against presenting a public response to the "anti-AA" crowd, no matter how well-intended. Let's face facts: if someone wants AA, they'll find it somehow; but if they don't, there's probably little you can do or say that will change their opinion. Perhaps, as a group, we members of AA first need to agree that AA really isn't the be-all and end-all for all alcoholics, before taking such action outside the fellowship. I know sober alcoholics who don't attend AA meetings, and I know drinking alcoholics who do.

Looking to AA's founders, I don't see much mention of them going to bars to seek out newcomers. Why not? Surely a bar was the ripest place to find potential members? Yet, instead, they went to places like hospitals or jails. They knew that an alcoholic in a bar probably wasn't ready to quit, whereas an alcoholic strapped down in a locked ward just might be.

So the real question is, what good would, or could, such a message on You Tube do a still-suffering alcoholic? Is anyone who's serious about finding a solution really going to be searching You-Tube for a solution over, say, Google?
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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Steven F »

Blue Moon wrote:Looking to AA's founders, I don't see much mention of them going to bars to seek out newcomers.
Interesting that you bring that up. I seem to remember - I think I heard it on the Joe&Charlie tapes, or otherwise on a tape by Bill W. himself - that Bill W. actually did just that (before his trip to Akron). I'm sorry I can't provide a quote for that, but maybe someone with knowledge of other AA literature (other than the big book) can.

The point of the story is that he failed miserably in helping anyone... except himself.

But as I say, there must be more on this somewhere. I would be thankful if someone could point me to where I could have gotten it myself.

PS as far as I know, Youtube is owned by Google :wink:

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Steven F »

I bumped into this one while looking for info on the Washingtonians. Maybe interesting, as we are talking about anonymity...
4. Anonymity.- A comparison with the Washingtonian experience underscores the sheer survival value of the principle of anonymity in Alcoholics Anonymous. At the height of his popularity, John B. Gough either "slipped" or was tricked by his enemies into a drunken relapse. At any rate, the opponents of the Washingtonian movement seized upon this lapse with glee and made the most of it to hurt Gough and the movement. This must have happened frequently to less widely known but nevertheless publicly known Washingtonians. Public confidence in the movement was impaired. Anonymity protects the reputation of A.A. from public criticism not only of "slips" but also of failures, internal tensions, and all deviant behaviour.

Equally important, anonymity keeps the groups from exploiting prominent names for the sake of group prestige; and it keeps individual members from exploiting their A.A. connection for personal prestige or fame. This encourages humility and the placing of principles above personalities. Such behaviour not only generates outside admiration of A.A. but has therapeutic value for the individual members. There are further therapeutic values in anonymity: it makes it easier for alcoholics to approach A.A., and it relaxes the new member. It encourages honest catharsis and utter frankness. It protects the new member from the critical eyes of certain acquaintances while he experiments with this new way of life, for fumbling and failure will be hidden.
I would love to add the link, but it seems links are removed from the forum (are they?).

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

Sorry, Steven, only aa.org links are allowed to be published on the forum, but if anyone PMs you, you could PM them the link back.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Chris S. »

I have to agree with Wayne T on this one. Probably the single most imortant thing that has kept AA as the single most effect program of recovery, other than God of course, is anonymity. Yes, at first, it was mostly out of fear and ridicule that our founders chose to be anonymous. But the real strength of this principle is found in it's genuine humility.

Yes. when i first got sober, and my cloud was a bright puffy shade of pink, I believed the whole world would benefit from this thing. I wanted to write books, make speeches, all of that stuff. But it is the quiet humility of the group, combined with the understanding of the fatality of this disease, that makes the AA hall a special place.

AA is demonstrated in movies, sure. It has become a major part of our culture. I even have a book I bought in 2000 published by CBS News profiling the most prolific people of the last century. It has a segment about Bill Wilson, and states that AA is probably the most important social organization of the century in terms of what it has accomplished.

But my thoughts go to the last scene in the movie, "My Name is Bill W." when Bill Wilson is attending a meeting in California. He was so tempted to tell the people who he was, and was frustrated that they didn't already know. After the meeting, he notices a man sitting alone and sullen. He introduced himself only as Bill and asked Lois to get them coffee so they could talk. One alcoholic helping another, nothing more, nothing less, and that id how it works.

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

I hear what you're saying, Chris, about humility. But humility and the ego are a funny thing and they're both something I've had to investigate to get a better understanding of them. I've even put a post on this forum asking for a definition of humility, because I just didn't fully understand the concept.

I think the nearest I got to an explanation is that humility is the best form of conceit, and since I heard that, I've not given 'humility' any more real consideration. Its enough for me to understand - at a level that's deeper than intellectual - that I don't know everything, and I look to others for advice with an open mind.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by Chris S. »

Ken, I can understand where one might come up with that idea for humility. But I do not entirely agree with it being a form of conceit. As conceit is the notion that one is somehow better than his fellows. Humility is more of the notion that one is just a part of larger picture, being right sized. Here is the best and clearest example I have found in our literature, it appears on page 124 in the 12&12.

"But today, in well matured AA's, these distorted drives have been restored to something like their true purpose and direction. We no longer strive to dominate or rule those about us in order to gain self importance. We no longer seek fame and honor in order to be praised. When, by devoted service to family, friends, business or community we attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of love and service. True leadership, we find, depends upon able example and not vain displays of power or glory.
Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful or profoundly happy. Not many of us can be leaders of prominence nor do we wish to be. Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with God's help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are parteners in a common effort, the well understood fact that in God's sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer isolated in self constructed prisons, the surety that we no longer need be square pegs in round holes but can fit and belong in God's scheme of things--these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possesions, could possibly be substitutes. True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the Grace of God."

This reading, for me, gave me a snapshot of what living humilty means. And it really helps me in the rough spots when I don't feel my life is as it should be, or I feel resentments forming, or I have fear of the future, or when I think I can be the exception to the rule.

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by jak »

I remain anonymous at the level of the media - not to protect my anonymity - but to protect the Spirit of Anonymity that is core to the program of Alcoholics ANONYMOUS.

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Re: Using You Tube to 'carry the message', what's your thoughts?

Post by LetgoJoe »

I agree with the maintaining the anonymity shares above. There is another ungly side of the coin to this whole utube thing. I have seen clips out there and seen some guys already sharing in the way you have described. I have also seen clips that people have cut and pasted portions and run repeats of them to make some one look like a wacko in their cause. It is a very uncool thing when someone does that and your face is out there to do as anyone on the internet sees fit. Just another thing worth mentioning in that area I thought. ~Joe K.
Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober. ~Bill W.

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