Next time you’re in Rhode Island searching for a hookup, remember that it might actually be your mother you’re flirting with on Tinder. Or Snapchat. Or, for that matter, it might be your mom that you’re communicating with on OKCupid. Because, in an effort to convince 23-33 year-olds who refuse to buy health insurance from the Rhode Island exchanges that they need to sacrifice their freedom of choice to the gods of Obamacare, Rhode Island is giving local moms all the tools they need to stalk their adorable progeny across social media.
Termed the “Nag Toolkit,” Rhode Island’s new strategy is a step-by-step online social media training facility designed to make your mother creepy as sh*t on the Internet, even going so far as to train your mom how to upload photos and search you out on dating websites and even how to pinpoint you on Tinder, as you try to get some in a poorly lit bar on a Saturday night, and harass you in person. Because they love you. Or something.
In a new campaign set to launch officially tomorrow, the Rhode Island state government is taking longstanding the national effort to use the opinion of mothersas the pathway to youth insurance enrollment to new levels. In Facebook ads aimed at state residents aged 23-33, the state will warn people that if they don’t sign up for health care through the Rhode Island exchange — known as HealthSourceRI — then Rhode Island will help their moms find them on Snapchat, Vine, Tinder, Twitter, and OKCupid.
It’s not an idle threat. Last week, the state soft-launched the Nag Toolkit, a website for moms containing simple instructions for how to join, entice, and stalk their children on dating websites with reminders to buy health coverage before the enrollment deadline passes at the end of March. A separate campaign aimed at moms will drive them to the Toolkit site, which also collects email addresses of young people submitted by their moms. The ads for moms are aimed at women in Rhode Island aged 45 and up.
To be fair, any program that teaches adults social media is probably worth the state’s time, when compared to other, less obviously effective governmental expenditures, like this $4.8 million line item encouraging college students to dress up as giant fruit and scare their classmates into eating 5-7 servings of vegetables per day, but this one doesn’t seem likely to pay out. Not because mothers won’t nag their children relentlessly at the behest of the Rhode Island state government, but because in order to take full advantage of the program, older adults would have to go out to a bar well after their weekend bedtimes.
The Facebook ads warn young people that if they don’t buy insurance, Rhode Island will teach their moms how to use OKCupid and the other sites. The ads aimed at moms set out to do just that.