Lessons from Mxit

Been live on Mxit for a couple of days (already have 109 111 users. Hey – it’s a start!)

Have had some conversations with users who send in messages and ask to be contacted via Mxit.

I’ve already learnt some things about where we should go from here and what’s needed.

1) Girls are asking for information about pregnancy itself – eg when do you start feeling the baby move, should I be worried etc. We don’t have this kind of practical pregnancy or parenting info on the website at the moment. I always assumed that it wasn’t necessary because it was widely available elsewhere so why reinvent the wheel? However, for whatever reason they are not accessing the info. They are coming to us for one thing, so we might as well provide everything they need to know. The same would apply to practical childcare and child development information. So we have a big job ahead of us of collating / gathering reliable information and getting it out there.

2) “I think I might be pregnant, but my period is not late yet, what are the symptoms”. I’m sure many women have been through the experience of wondering (or wishing) if they might be, but it’s way too early for any symptoms and even too early to take a test. This question is not necessarily about the FACTS of symptoms etc, but probably just reassurance, that yes it’s too early, no, there’s no way to tell yet, and yes all those other places telling you to take a test only once your period is late by so much – they are right. Confirmation of what they already know. Somebody to talk to about this huge THING in their heads that they probably can’t discuss with anyone else.

3) One which struck me was a girl who asked me – if she is pregnant, she doesn’t know yet – and she was going to have an abortion, would I go with her. That’s huge. That means that she’d rather ask a perfect stranger who she’s chatted with online for 10 minutes to go with her to this big event (not going to call it life changing or traumatic or emotional because for many people it’s not. still, it’s a big day) – than ask her mother, her friend, her boyfriend. That’s a sign of something very, very wrong. I understand the need for many people to keep it a secret, but they only need to do that because they know they can’t rely on those people to support them no matter what. That sucks. So – this is a problem. There must be many other girls out there who want someone to go with them and hold their hand.

Does anyone know of organisations that do this, perhaps? Is it already A THING? We’re going to have to look at it.

I’m very excited about the possibilities here. Anyone else have any ideas on how we can make it better?

To add us on Mxit, go to : Tradepost > REACH > Community > Young Mom Support or add youngmomsupport as a contact manually

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