The Perils of Sexting

Along with the phenomenon of cell phones and smart phones is another way of communicating called texting. Texting, for those of you who aren’t aware, is usually a brief typed text message that is sent to another cell phone and appears on the receiving party’s screen. Texting is a very efficient method of sending a message, saving multiple calls and many minutes of valuable time, especially when the receiving party is unable to answer their cellphone. The text message will be available for the receiver to read at the next opportunity they have to check their phone for missed calls. The sender can also send one or more photos attached to the message. Everyone loves to see photos of the baby, the playful kitten or the new car.

Flirting Device

A problem can occur­ when the text message becomes a flirting device, which includes suggestive language and a revealing selfie. Perhaps a person is trying to initiate a relationship with someone. The text message allows for conversations to take place long distance – as if they were sitting together on a sofa, at a dinner table or at a noisy club. Late night texting conversations can easily become intimate and include revealing bedtime photos. Sexual messages are called sexting, and are often accompanied by sexually explicit selfies and video clips.

Unwanted Pornography

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “The Minefield of Talking About Sexting,” children as young as nine years old are actively engaged in sexting. The article exposes the silent world of sexting and encourages parents to teach their children about the dangers of giving out their phone numbers and texting new virtual friends they may have met on internet chat rooms or social media websites. Children may receive unwanted pornographic images along with sexually explicit text messages, or get talked into posing and sending their own graphic selfie photos that can then be passed along to others or posted on various sites.

Are Your Child’s Nude Photos Online?

No parent wants to learn their child’s nude photos were seen on the internet – perhaps posted by your former jilted lover who is seeking revenge. In some cases the anonymous texting friend is actually a much older person taking advantage of innocent, younger people, and lure them into participating in sexting activities because “everyone does it.”

Future Consequences

It is important for parents to periodically review their child’s cellphone activity and to explain the dangers of sexting and the importance of keeping their private parts private. The possibility of your child’s sexual images being seen by friends, relatives, future teachers, colleges, coaches and emloyers can come back to haunt them for many years. Also there are legal consequences to consider for juvenile and teen sexting, as well as adults who engage in this activity. Sexting can rise to the level of child pornography, and authorites do not waste time listening to excuses before arresting people – even former congressmen serve prison sentences for this kind of thing.

Talk to Your Kids

Parents are encouraged to explain that once revealing images are sent they can’t be controlled, retrieved or erased. Talk to your children about what healthy, romantic relationships look like, that it isn’t OK to be pressured or bullied into sexting, and if someone really cared for them they would never ask for revealing photos.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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