Getting Into Bedsider
A few months ago, an old friend randomly texted me. We’d known each other for about eight or nine years – she was a former next door neighbor. People grow apart over time, but we’d still send each other the obligatory “are you still alive?” text every now and then. This go around, the conversation got a little serious.
We got on the topic of love…her love life and my lack thereof. She had a boyfriend that she’d been on and off with for a few years. The only “on and off” I had was my television.
“I’m having a baby girl in July,” she texted as the conversation waned.
I was mind blown. This girl who I basically grew up with was having a girl of her own?!
When I applied for my internship at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in D.C., I had my old friend in mind. I could’ve sent applications to the hundreds of newspapers and magazines in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, but I wanted to do something that truly made a difference. Starbucks runs and fact checking could wait. Luckily, I’m working with Bedsider.org, a new online birth control support network that is informative, fun, and edgy enough to make a real difference. When I got the internship, I promised myself that I’d try to relay the Campaign’s message of prevention to my friends back home. Roughly 75 percent of my graduating class is married or they have a child. Isn’t that crazy?!
One of Bedsider’s sayings is “babies are great…when you’re ready for them.” I totally agree. My friend, as fabulous of a mother as she may be, was definitely not ready for a baby. We used to dream out loud about what we’d be when we grow up. I wanted to write and she wanted to act. I’m fortunate to be living my dream and now my friend has to put hers on hold.
I love Bedsider because of its honesty. Let’s get real…mostly everyone in our demographic is having sex or something similar to it. We young guys and girls can be pretty hard headed…no one really picks up (or reads) those sex pamphlets at the doctor anymore. Bedsider features “Real Stories” from people our age who tell us about their contraceptive preferences. There’s a nifty Method Explorer with a photo and detailed description of each birth control method, and you can filter the methods by categories like “most effective” and “do me now.” How cool is that?
Every college or high school may not be one of the top institutions for sex ed. On my campus, for example, there’s only the occasional awareness program, or my personal favorite — the condom bowl at the front desk in dormitories. Bedsider’s a great alternative if Sex Ed 101 isn’t in your course catalog and a great supplement even if it is. I really like the fact that the site is so visible in the realm of social media – I can check out their Twitter feed, receive a birth control or doctor’s appointment reminder on my Blackberry, and read Bedsider’s tumblr during my lunch break. I update blog posts and find images for Flickr Friday almost every day.
It’s a little too late for me to send my friend a link to Bedsider.org. But the recent launch is timely enough for you to send it to your friends and family!