Unfortunately, there are some very bad things that come along with texting, and it doesn’t get much worse than sexting!
Sexting or Sextexting is a terrifying concept for any parent, and it’s become prevalent within the teen community.
What is Sexting? Sexting involves inappropriate and/or nude photos of themselves or others that are texted to boyfriends, girlfriends, and even strangers. Take this practice one step further to the brink of total devastation by adding the ability to forward and share these inappropriate photos with an unlimited number of people. Who knows where these photos could end up?
The possibilities are frighteningly endless.
“Not my child” is what most parents think when the topic of sexting is brought up in conversation. A national organization called The National Campaign (www.nationalcampaign.org) seeks to improve the well being of our youth, estimates that at a minimum, 33% of teenagers have admitted to sexting. This number increases to 36% when it comes to young adult women.
The second someone hits the “send” button that includes a “hot pic” as an attachment to a text, serious consequences, and severe harm are possible. Here are just a few ways sexting can change your child’s life forever:
Potential to be arrested and charged for child pornography
Requirement to register as a sex offender
Complete humiliation among peers
Attractions of stalkers/sexual predators
Hazing/name calling Sexual harassment
Possible expulsion from school
Teens have been arrested and booked for sexting, which in the eyes of the law can be considered child pornography. Beyond that, sexting carries the additional risks:
Text Bullying – When compromising photos are texted to others in order to embarrass, make miserable or destroy another person.
Teen Pressure – Feeling pressured to text revealing photos – or else…
Teen Suicide – Resulting from once private, inappropriate photos no longer remaining private, causing humiliation and devastation.
Blackmail – Being made to do something against your will, because if you don’t, that naked picture you texted of yourself will be sent to all your friends, teachers, coaches, parents, and anyone you would never want to see it.
Breakups/Relationship Problems – Forced to stay in a relationship for fear of inappropriate photos surfacing somewhere unexpected.
We as parents need to Read Between the Lines and be aware that sexting is a reality, and it’s becoming more common than we’d like to believe. We also need to understand the dangers of sexting, and then be able to explain the serious consequences that arise from texting sexy pictures to others, and how it can negatively change their lives forever!