Before hitting the ‘send’ button on their mobile phones or the ‘enter’ key on their keyboard, teenagers need to be cautioned to first consider the dangers of sexting.
They need to consider that once they break up with that partner, is it something that can be used against them. They might not think so now…but they need to consider whether they would be happy for this picture they are sending to be seen by everyone, because this can and does happen. Once a picture has been sent it is out of their control and it can be used to hurt them.
Teens also need to realize that when it comes to sexting, the law is getting involved
Sexting and the Law
Nude images found on a mobile phone involving a teen or their circle of friends may automatically fall under child pornography as defined by law. In other words, the act of taking, sending, receiving as well as distributing of those sexual images, under the law, may constitute different levels of child pornography charges.
The dangers of sexting and its legal risks have been manifested already in some cases of arrests, criminal charges and convictions of teenagers. Imprisonment as well as compulsory sex offender registration may be one of the outcomes – not something anyone would wish upon their teen.
Although there those that may think that sexting among teenagers should not be a major concern, teens and their parents directly involved in the consequences of sexting, I suspect, would have a different point of view. Sexting can have huge ramifications on a young person’s future.
Know this – once an image is out there – it is very difficult to get it back.
Many teenagers may see sexting as just a bit of fun or a way to impress their partner or a potential partner. However, they need to realize that sexting can not only damage a reputation, be humiliating, but may also lead to legal consequences. As a parent you can help them avoid this…
Parents Standing in the Gap
Parents – it is very important that you talk to your child about sexting, that you warn them of the dangers, the legal consequences and how it may damage their future – show them examples in the news of teens that now have damaged lives due to sexting. It is also important that you keep up to date with what they are doing online, be proactive – for example: on Facebook, like your child’s page, so that you see what they are posting…if they know you are looking then they are less likely to post revealing pictures.
It is unfortunate that most teens take these legal ramifications lightly. Oftentimes, they realize its gravity when it is too late. Therefore, as a parent you need to address the real possibility as well as the likelihood that if your teen sends nude or semi-nude pictures in any form of media it could end up with the whole world viewing them.
This should be enough to get every parent talking to their teen about sexting and helping them to realize the dangers of sexting before it’s too late.