Yesterday was the first day of the SexTech 2012 conference. SexTech is an annual conference hosted by ISIS Inc. that focuses on technology and youth sexual and reproductive health. The conference opened with a panel of young people who discussed why they use social media.

 During the panel discussion, one young woman stated that she had used social media, “basically her whole life.” Ten years ago, before the launch of Facebook or Twitter, this statement was inconceivable; today, however, social media is pervasive in our society. Understanding why and how people communicate through social media allows us to better understand how to optimize social media in youth sexual and reproductive health programs.

The popularity of social media among young people makes this technology ideal for reaching youth with sexual and reproductive health information. The use of social media and other new technologies for this purpose is relatively new, and many questions about the best way to do so remain unanswered. This presentation was a good opening to what will surely be a great conference. It will be interesting to hear how organizations are using social media and other new technologies to advance youth sexual and reproductive health.