“Partnering with MTV to meld social media with social awareness, Foursquare created an online ‘movement’ to encourage young people to get tested. Every time users checked into a clinic, they unlocked badges and shared their whereabouts across social media platforms. According to them, their campaign resulted in thousands upon thousands of participants.”
The badge and promotion were called GYT: Get Yourself Tested. Its point was to remove the stigma associated with getting tested. One in two sexually active people under age 25 will have STI. Given this age group is a large chunk of the social media savvy – it makes perfect sense.
According to Mashable, it was the first time Foursquare offered a cause-related badge. It’s not a badge that announces, as the author suggests, “I have an STD!” It’s a badge that says, “Getting tested is part of taking care of one’s personal health. I am responsible. I am taking control of my sex life.”
The author of the article also missed the boat on a couple more facts: there was only one badge related to GYT (not badges plural as she wrote in the above paragraph. Trust me, as a Planned Parenthood employee and a consummate Foursquare user, I’d know about – and have – any additional badges.) In addition, the GYT badge has been retired, so even if her post encouraged her readers to run out, get tested and share their activity online, they would be disappointed in their lack of celebratory badge.
Just in case if you, dear reader, are looking to take control of your sex life, you can look here to find a health center near you.
~ Carmen, SD Public Affairs Manager, Planned Parenthood Advocate