The Age of Technology

May 8, 2006

I was born in 1969 b.c. (before cell phones). I am from the generation of bad hair cuts (hello mullets!), bad fashion, good music and bad information. Especially when it came to sex.

I remember when I was about 14, I was told that if you douched with 7-up, you won’t get pregnant. Or how about the infamous, “if you do it in a pool…” Thank God I was terrified of my parents and was a 22 year old virgin, because I was given some pretty BAD information.

My, have times changed. Welcome to the age of technology.

San Francisco just launched the nation’s first text-messaging program aimed to give instant cellphone messages to sexually active young people ages 12 to 24, seeking advice about sex and health.

The service focuses on everything from what to do “if ur condom broke” to whom to call “if ur feeling down … like u wanna xcape ur life.”

Hmmm…I don’t know how I feel about this. I mean, it’s good that these kids will be getting accurate information, but at the same time, are they getting enough with just a text message?

Jennifer Hartstein, psychologist with Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., worries that text responses lack detail and will help teens avoid parental involvement, giving them one more way that they can keep secrets from parents. Still, she calls the service “a wonderful and innovative response” to the problem of sexually transmitted diseases among teens.

If this program was available to me in the age of Madonna and neon clothing, I might have used it just to ask about the whole 7-up thing.  But I’m hoping that I would have established an open and trusting relationship with both my kids, that they can come TO ME to ask their questions. No matter how embarrassing.

What do you think?