Nowadays, every teenager has a device with internet access and they mostly use it in private. Advances in technology have made it very easy for teens to create and share personal photos and videos without their parents even knowing. And of course they are not aware of its catastrophic consequences. Now what can parents do to stop teenage sexting ? What may cause teenage sexting ? What are its reasons and consequences ? This article gives you a guide about all you need to know about sexting.
What is sexting?
Sexting or “sex texting” is the act of sending and receiving sexually explicit photos and videos online or through text. It includes nude or nearly nude photos and videos as well as texts which propose sex or refers to sex acts. Sexting is becoming the new range among young generation. Some of them are even aware of the risks but they take them willingly. But the truth is that the consequences of their actions can ruin their whole life.
Why do teens sext?
Most of the teens see sexting as a joke, as a way of getting attention, or way of being seen as “cool” or popular. Another main reason for teenage sexting is peer pressure. They simply do it because someone asked them to do so. And it is never easy for a teenage to say no. Sexting is becoming so normal that teenagers involve in it without no hesitation and fear. Sexting may not involve unwanted pregnancy and STDs, but it does involve threats from pedophiles and cyber bullies.
Consequences of teenage sexting
Teens should fully understand that whatever they share online is never private and it will remain online forever. A picture can become accessible by the whole world in a few seconds. And when a private photo goes public, it can cause humiliation, public ridicule or it can destroy teen’s self-image which can in turn cause depression. Also, in some states teens can face felony charges or even being recognized as a sex offender. The consequences of a nude photo going viral can negatively affect college application or future career.
What should parents do about teenage sexting
The first and most important thing to do is to make your kids aware of the situation. Talk to them about the fact that once a picture goes online, it will remain in the cyberspace permanently. Even if they know the person, for example it’s their girlfriend or boyfriend, still the chances of awful consequences are not eliminated. These are the top tips which ensures your teen’s social media safety:
- Talk to your kids and teach them the appropriate way of using the internet and how to be safe in the cyberspace.
- Most importantly, encourage an open dialogue between you and your teen. Set aside some time each day to just listen and talk with your teen about what’s going on in their life.
- Parents can make it clear that there will be consequences if their kids are caught sexting, such as taking away cellphones and computers or having limits to when and how they can use these devices.
- Make sure your teens online profiles don’t have private or personal identifying information (e.g., phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
- You can use parental control applications on their devices to ensure their safety.