You Can Get Your Teen A Virtual Baby So They Won’t Get Knocked Up For Real

Pregnancy Text Teen Pregnancy Do Something is launching a new initiative to raise awareness about teen pregnancies with a campaign called Pregnancy Text which will be available on March 25. The campaign involves adding your mobile phone number to their website and you, or your teen, receive incessant text messages from your phone baby for 12 hours. They compare it to the project you had to do in high school with a sack of flour or an egg where you pretended it was a baby, except the sack of flour didn’t text you a lot informing you that it needed something like a diaper change. From The NY Daily News:

Teens have to sign up for the project, which involves answering incessant text messages from a “baby” whose needs range from diaper changing to feeding.

The texts are “fun and lighthearted, sassy without being mean,” Ruderman said — key to keeping teens interested.“I know you’re running late bu-GRRGLEBARFFFF. Oops, sorry about your shirt. Rappers spit rhymes, I spit up,” a sample text reads.

I’m sorry but as someone who has had many a baby I can tell you that they never announced in a clever fashion they were going to spit up.

Students can personalize the experience by responding — “I love you” or “I’m not ready to get up yet” are past examples — and the baby will write back.

The goal is to get teens discussing teen pregnancy and sharing the information with their friends, but I’m sure you can see the potential for hilarity in this, the goal is for all of us to sign up and complain about our virtual babies with each other, and you can join me here.

I also signed my teenager up for this, because I’m obnoxious. I think this will be an amazing program that will get teens thinking about the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and what a total pain actual real life babies are, and even more importantly, I can probably demand gifts from everyone I know because I’m expecting a fake baby. Let me know if you would like to send me a present. If there is enough interest in the comments, I’ll make an open thread for us on the 25th so we can all discuss our fake babies.

(Image: do something. org)

 

Share This Post:
    • Valerie

      This sounds suspiciously like a Tamagotchi.

      And I would totally treat the Text Baby like Siri and say dumb stuff and see what it says back. Because I am a beacon of maturity.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        That is what I thought too, I am gonna love my Tamagotchi baby!

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        I’d probably troll it the way I used to troll guys on OKCupid back when I had an account. Which would then get all weird and awkward because this is supposed to be my pweshus widdle sneauxfleyque, goddammit!

        Also my Tamagotchi only lasted for something like six hours. I’m pretty sure it committed suicide.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I am signing myself up, because I am a masochist. I’m registered at Macy’s, ya’ll!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        My fake virtual baby is gonna be way cuter than your fake virtual baby

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        But my virtual fake baby will be able to beat your virtual fake baby up!

      • Valerie

        I killed my egg baby in 8th grade by accident- I think on the 2nd day. I was hurrying to lunch (it was chicken patty day, ya’ll!) and I dropped it on the floor. Splat. And I was all “oh well, time for chicken patty day!!!!”

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        ya know, there is something about school chicken patties. They are made out of sawdust and tendons and extremely delicious

      • Valerie

        OMGGGG they are amazing! Something about the mayo and the bun and the tendons. A tantilizing brew.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Chicken patties are delicious, screw that egg baby!

      • Valerie

        Obviously that was my train of thought! I don’t even remember cleaning it up. I may have abandoned its remains for the janitor to deal with while I claimed my Chicken Sawdust Patty!

      • Lackadaisical

        Well your fake babies may be cuter and may be masters of fisticuffs but my fake baby has the best fake life planned out for it and I have been practicing tears and lists of things I sacrificed to answer the texts in case fake baby dares to have desires of its own. My fake baby will excell at all the activities I wanted to do but lacked talent or couldn’t be bothered to try hard enough at. I can’t play a musical instrument, my Latin is appalling and I can’t dance but my baby will become brilliant at all of them when I force them to practice constantly. Then my baby will get into Oxford, get a job that pays well enough for a second home in the country, marry at 30 to someone I can push around and sneer at and then provide me with grandchildren the moment I retire and get bored. I see no flaw in this fake plan.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Bravo!

      • Lackadaisical

        Will there be an online fake baby shower?

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      This is my discussion with the fake baby folks via text. As you can tell, I am a Klassy broad and will make an excellent fake baby momma.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        It asked me what I liked to do after school and I said party and it started sending me party planning texts :(

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        So you’re saying that this phone-baby-maker is like that one parent that every high school has who buys all the teens booze and lets them party in his van?

      • Bethany Ramos

        I told you to say “sexting”!!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        THAT WAS MY CHOICE FOR BABY NAME

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Great minds think alike because Optimus Prime is the shiznit!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        My shit is broken it did not even ask me what I wanted to name my baby!

      • Lackadaisical

        I think you will find that little Opty Locke and Opty Vawter will be in a class of several Optimus Primes when they are old enough for school. What about an unusual name?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Stop name judging my fake baby.

      • Lackadaisical

        Well, I will call mine Optymos Prymez so that everyone knows mine is special and I am an individual

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Mine is a actually Optimoosx Pryeemx. The x’s are silent, obviously.

      • Lackadaisical

        Obviously. I see your silent x and raise you a pronunciation that is nothing like the spelling. My darling Optymos Prymz is obviously pronounced Megatron. Our fake babies may need to be frenemies as we may make them too obnoxious to hang out with the common place normal children.

      • aliceblue

        I’m going with OptiLeigh Praden.

      • Valerie

        Optimus Prime is better than much of what Blair shows us on STFU, Parents. I mean, you could call him Opey. That’s old-timey and sort of cute for a boy.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        and very sons of anarchy!

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Sounds like those dolls you have to take care of for Home Ec. Some sadist gave my class ones that were broken, they NEVER STOPPED CRYING. They for reals would have been fucked out the window.

      • pixie

        I actually know someone who got pissed off at their fake baby and failed the class because of it.

        And on an unrelated note, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

      • EmmaFromÉire

        Thank you, same to you! (major points for not saying Patty’s Day. Literally as a NATION that pisses us off)

      • pixie

        LOL! I have enough Irish in me to know better (that and my very Irish riding coach would murder me in my sleep if I ever dared say “Patty”). ;)

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        That used to make my Sligo born and raised grandfather irate!

      • Lackadaisical

        Patty’s? Really? In England I hear St Paddy sometimes (which may be as annoying) but have never heard anyone call him Patty.

      • EmmaFromÉire

        See Paddy is GRAND as far as we’re concerned, but Patty’s just gets on my tits. Probably because Paddy is the shortened version of Pádraig, as in Naomh Pádraig/St Patrick. But patty just makes me think of those sad flat burgers. I’ve only ever heard people rfom the US use the term patty though!

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        Some chick I knew decided to put her fake baby in the dryer. I can’t for the life of me recall whether or not she turned it on.

    • Meg

      Gosh when I was a teen we were actually given a full size baby doll to take care of. It didn’t talk sadly, but would start crying randomly and unless we stuck a key in its back we were considered neglectful.
      I brought the doll to Walmart to do another part of the assignment (had to price baby gear). The doll was in a car seat and I covered it with a blanket to avoid strange questions from other people. It didn’t work. First I had a little old lady come over to me and start gushing wanting to see my baby. Of course I got a strange look when she realized it was a doll. Later, a younger woman approached me and got all huffy and judgey saying I was too young to have a baby and what was I thinking. I told her I was thinking she needed to mind her own business.

      • pixie

        So many of my friends had people being super judgemental. Never mind that it could have been a baby sibling or a niece or nephew that they were taking care of (I actually had a friend with a baby brother who she had to take to and from daycare every day and the looks she got because of that…). Some people are way too quick to judge.

      • bea

        I wanted to do that so badly in hs, but since my parents smoked my teacher wouldn’t let me take the baby doll home. Then I saw my friend dealing with it, and I was GLAD I couldn’t take it :)

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        That is so lame they wouldn’t let you take it for that reason!

      • Lackadaisical

        Or worrying that the fake baby is such a fire hazard that they can’t risk it.

      • bea

        For reals. And I was so excited. I kinda get why she said no cause they’d smell like smoke and you can’t really wash them, but still disappointing. Seeing my friend with it kind of made my ovaries kill off a few eggs though.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        LISTEN, WE ALL NEED TO SHOW LOVE TO THE FAKE SMOKE SMELLING NICOTINE BABY!

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        Where the hell was this member of the morality police when my mother was smoking during her pregnancy (and yes, I am an only child)?!

    • pixie

      Aw man, I kinda want to do this, but I feel it’s a bad idea with all the stuff for school I’m trying to get done.

      I never took the parenting class when I was in high school because by that time they were giving out computerized dolls that would randomly cry like a real baby. You also had to be careful about holding it, because if its neck snapped back it would scream (like a real baby) and you’d fail. You had to “change its diaper”, “feed it”, and take it everywhere. And the amount of judgement and nasty looks some of my friends got from other people around town who didn’t realize it was fake (for whatever reason…the dolls looked realistic but not THAT realistic).

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        I didn’t take that parenting class in high school, either, mostly because I had already realized well before then that I never wanted to be a mother, so the class would be as useful to me as underwater basket-weaving. Of course, there was sort of a chicken-and-egg thing going on with realizing my non-desire for children, because while it hadn’t been first and foremost on my mind before high school, seeing the irritation on my classmates’ faces as they stuck keys into a fake kid that they were only stuck with for a weekend rather than eighteen full years solidified that parenting was not for me.

      • pixie

        I’m pretty sure I want to be a parent at some point, but yeah, I did not envy my friends who got stuck with those fake babies. I also felt like I could fill my timetable up with subjects I would have enjoyed more.

        And I was very fond of my sleep in high school (not that I don’t enjoy sleep now) and anything that woke me up in the middle of the night risked accidental, half-asleep violence, so I probably would have failed that portion of the class.

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        I still value my sleep, and I am more than eager to inform anyone who tries to disturb it that there’s a longstanding belief in the Jewish community that one can repent for the theft of physical objects since those can be returned, but interrupting someone’s sleep is an unforgiveable sin, as you can never return it.

        So yeah. Don’t think parenting would be good for me or my nonexistent children.

      • SarahJesness

        Ugh, I’m so sick of people trashing underwater basket weaving! When the polar ice caps melt and flood the planet, ya’ll are gonna regret not taking that class!

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        Eh, my family’s got property at 8500 feet above current sea level. Not only do I plan to build on it and market it as beachfront property, I also plan to sell the dead wood on it for ark lumber! Keep driving those Hummers, folks!

      • SarahJesness

        I’m gonna work on living in the water. What little land is left, people are going to fight over and it will be BLOODY. Most of the world is ocean so I’ll have free reign to go wherever I want and do whatever I want. Long-term plan involves training dolphins. Imma get rich trading trained dolphins for things.

    • Alicia Kiner

      Something must have been wrong with my school. They never even did the egg one!!! Might explain the large percentage of teen pregnancies that started my freshman yeah. ;)

      I feel strangely cheated out of a fun project. Though, I have to admit, the egg would have been much easier than the crying doll with the key.

      I had real life siblings to actually feed, though my parents didn’t actually leave them in my care until they were potty trained, thankfully!

      • Valerie

        My egg was pretty fun until I caused its untimely death. I remember drawing all over it with Sharpies so it would have its own little egg persona. I believe I gave it overalls, a la Humpty Dumpty.

      • Alicia Kiner

        cute!

    • Harriet Meadow

      Wait, it only does it for 12 hours? That doesn’t seem to be a good way to scare off teens. It should do it at least three days (AND NIGHTS!!!!) in a row… But then I guess they wouldn’t get too many people signed up for it in the first place.

    • Margie

      This is nothing. My MIL was a home economics major at university (yeah, that used to be a thing) and in your final year, you had to move into an apartment with a few of your classmates and take care of a child, usually an orphan. Let me repeat that: Child Protective Services would GIVE the university REAL LIVE BABIES so the future housewives could complete a child care assignment.

      • Iwill Findu

        what the hell was wrong with CPS?! here baby be a science experiment for these people so they don’t mess up their own kids, but we don’t care if you get messed up in the process.

      • SarahJesness

        Childcare and science have changed a lot in the past few decades. Considering some scientists gave LSD to an elephant in the 70′s to see what would happen; in the 40′s there was an experiment where a dolphin was to be raised like one would a human child to see if it would develop the ability to speak, and, well, you don’t have to look far to see some weirdness in childcare and orphanages in the 50′s and 60′s.

      • G.S

        Yeah, they’re still horrible, and now it’s mostly just legal child trafficking. Seriously, they get paid by how many kids are in the system and have no legal accountability, so they take as many kids as they need to fill their quota and play Musical Foster Families with them. At least in Ontario, anyway.

      • Katherine Handcock

        I am terrified by this! Seriously, what was the thought process here?!

      • Margie

        I have no clue. My MIL did her degree in the mid 60s and they had stopped doing it by then, but still it blows my mind. This did remind me of one of my favourite Mystery Science Theatre 3000 shorts: The Home Economics Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibUsglYe4r0

      • Valerie

        OMG, Rent-a-Baby. I am dying.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        this is the best

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      So now when your teacher tells you to put down your phone, you can retort :

      “#HDY! I have to change my baby’s diaper!!!”

    • Katherine Handcock

      On the financial show “Til Debt Do Us Part”, any family that was on the show that was hugely in debt but also saying they wanted a baby soon usually got Baby Think-It-Over. I’ve seen some of the simul-babies before, but this thing was incredible! Sometimes it wanted its special bottle, or a diaper change – which you had to actually, physically perform. Sometimes it wanted to be held up on a shoulder (as if you were burping) and sometimes it wanted to be cradled. And until you figured out what thing it was looking for, it wouldn’t stop crying. I thought it should be mandatory for EVERY would-be parent, not just teens…a little dose of reality never hurts!

    • Rachel Sea

      I want them all to be like, “I’m freaking out! Figure out why!” and “WAH there are wiggly things on the ends of my flappy sticks and I can’t figure out how to get them in my mouth!” and “I can’t fart on my own, I need you to help me.”

    • tk88

      …How is this like caring for a baby? The only similarity is that your life is often disrupted. In my high school we had a class where we could take home a simulation doll. Now THAT was like caring for a baby–but even the doll had its limitations.

    • SarahJesness

      My sister had to do an assignment where each person in the class had to take care of a baby doll that would cry and stuff. I’m pretty sure those things were designed to be colicky or something because I don’t think normal babies cry that much.

      I always see on TV shows where the students have to take care of an egg or sack of flour, but like, how does that even work? What student would take it seriously? There’s no way for the teacher to know if the student did the assignment or not.

    • JJ

      While I am really glad to see they are making more effort to prevent teenage pregnancy and young parenthood I don’t necessarily think this is answer. It’s a great idea and I am glad they did it but call me critical but I don’t think a phone which you can put away and ignore is quite the same reality as an actual, demanding needy baby. Same goes with those dolls they give high school kids. I know some girls who did that course and actually liked having the baby thing and thought they could do it because of it, yikes. Granted a lot kids took the course and were like, ugh this baby doll is hard I do not want kids right now. But a few select girls who seem determined to become mom’s immediately after graduation, if not even before then, were secretly loving having those fake baby dolls.

      Schools should be focusing more on emphasising birth control, condom use every time you have sex. And stop teaching abstinence only ! Ugh abstinence only helps almost no one except the super religious kids like the Duggars. If you really want to convince teens to not get pregnant have them spend a week with a busy mom or dad of a toddler LOL now that is experience for you. Just visit a relative or friend who has young kids for a few days and be completely responsible for their kids the entire time 24/7. Muahaha desire to use birth control/condoms would go up almost 100%!

    • Pingback: Parents Upset Over Middle School Condom Access()