Do you know what “sexting” is? I’ll bet your teenage kids do.
Sexting is a term derived from a combination of “sex” and “texting” and has become a troubling trend among teens.
Up until about 6-8 months ago, cyber-bullying consisted mostly of harassing someone via instant messaging or through popular social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook.
As technology has become more accessible, specifically in the area of mobile phones that no teenager seems to be able to live without, cyber-bullying has “taken its clothes off” so to speak.
Sexting is the act of sending provocative, nude or semi-nude photos of oneself to other individuals. What better way to harass someone than by messaging naked photos of them to everyone in your phonebook?
I guess that with the prevalence of adults exchanging photographs over the Internet, it was only a matter of time before kids started getting ideas.
Sexting starts out as playful banter but can evolve into a modern form of harassment that knows no bounds.
When talking to your teen about sexting, you should stress the potential long-term ramifications associated with such risky behavior. In less than 30 seconds, a young person can scar their identity for life by “living for the moment”.
The key is for parents to talk openly with their teens and to make them aware of the very real consequences acting on impulse.
Responsible parents have discovered ways to supervise their teenager’s use of the Internet on the computer in their home.
Hopefully ideas will be forthcoming that can be used to accomplish similar protection for teenagers who have access to a Blackberry, camera phone or other mobile computing device.