Earlier in the semester, my Sexuality and Social Media students and I discussed this video from Bedsider.org:
What are your thoughts on how the video encourages birth control use?
One of my students, Emjay, conducted her research for her class project on whether social media outlets specifically targeted towards sexual education are effective in their real world application. She explored Bedsider's offerings, including its section for "Reminders." Emjay writes:
“Set up a reminder and leave the rest to us” is the tag line (Bedsider). Speaking as someone who uses this feature on my phone I can say they really do take care of everything. There are two options of reminders: appointment or birth control reminder. You must certify that you are over the age of 13 and have a cell phone or have the expressed consent from an account owner. Under the appointment reminder you select the date and time of the appointment then if you would like the reminder sent to your e-mail or your phone. I have the reminder sent directly to my phone but you can text “STOP” to end it or “HELP” for more information.
For the birth control reminder you first select the type of birth control from ring, pill, patch or shot. These are the only options because according to Bedsider, “These are the only methods you need to remember on a set schedule, separate from the heat of the moment. It’d be tough for us to remind you when to use a condom or put in a sponge—there’s no way we could know when you’re going to get busy!” (Bedsider). (Although I wish there was an reminder for condom use, that might get a little creepy.)
At your selected date and time, Bedsider then texts you a fun messages like, “Two new findings suggest: Women prefer men with deep voices. Men with deep voices have lower sperm counts. No matter what he sounds like, please take your pill.” However, you can also select for a “less frisky option” (@Bedsider) that makes no mention of birth control or your specific method. Instead of setting an alarm or constantly being aware of what time it is, Bedsider provides a fun way to remind yourself to take your birth control.
For her project, Emjay also held a roundtable discussion with nine college students to: 1) evaluate the information contained within eight popular sex education websites; and 2) engage in open dialogue about sex and sex education. Click here to find out which websites the group liked the best and follow Emjay on Twitter for related updates!
PS Emjay came up with the catchy title for her blog and this post. Social Media + Sexual Education = SEXial mEDia!