Study: Using Facebook to Promote Safe Sex Among Teens

Study: Using Facebook to Promote Safe Sex Among Teens

“We were happy to see an effect in the short term,” Bull says, “but pretty much as soon as you stop sending new messages or posting new material, the effect wanes. It teaches us that you need to keep your content fresh.”

Bull’s work confirms what social scientists have long supposed: Facebook campaigns rarely have a huge impact on teenagers, but they can have a small impact on a huge number of teenagers. Online messaging costs a fraction of the face-to-face kind; its reach is truly global; and “pushing” messages to a user’s News Feed is far more effective than asking them to visit a standalone Web site. But a 15-year-old’s virtual world is a chaotic, crowded place, and boring old STI facts area easily drowned out by high school gossip, Ryan Gosling memes, and all the latest Likes.

– From Pacific Standard’s article about a new study conducted by Shaena Bull, a professor at the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health who’s studied technology, teenagers, and sexual health for more than a decade.

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