I Did a Thing: YTH Live 2016
May 13, 2016
From April 24 to 26, I had the amazing opportunity of attending Youth + Tech + Health Live—a conference that gathers those who are passionate about using technology to improve the sexual, physical and mental health of young people. While getting to go to a conference all the way on the other side of the country in San Francisco was certainly great, the best part was seeing the innovations that people of all ages were making. Tons of new websites, apps, online games, social media campaigns and other cool things were showcased throughout the three days.
One of those cool things was Eve, an app that acts as a period tracker, sex logbook and information center all in one. The app’s purpose is to show users how their menstrual cycles affect their sex lives and vice versa, while also giving information on birth control and, to quote their website, “all things down there.” Another favorite of mine was a game called Cool Not Cool, a quiz that differentiates between healthy and unhealthy practices in romantic relationships. A lot of my classmates believe that things like requesting a partner’s social media password or practically stalking their significant other is OK when it’s really not; that’s why I like Cool Not Cool. The game explains that those actions just aren’t healthy.
Also during the conference, I worked with a bunch of other young people and the people at MyMediaLife to produce a PSA. The video, which was eventually titled “I’m More Complicated Than You Think,” aims to break down stereotypes that we experience about our sex lives. The experience really opened my eyes and made me realize how much hard work goes into video campaigns. We spent numerous hours just brainstorming ideas, then several more scripting the video and coming up with a title. When it came time to film, I was astounded by how many takes had to be taken of each person – just to ensure that they had the best possible clip. The end result is beautiful, and I’m so glad that I got to be involved in it (even if the process was a bit mind-numbing at times).
It’s fantastic that YTH Live exists. It amplifies the voices of us younger folk, who don’t typically get to have our say. And it brought together a good deal of people who want to make the world a better, healthier place. I tremendously enjoyed this year’s event, and I can’t wait to apply to be on next year’s YTH Youth Advisory Board!