Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages, photos, and video via any electronic means, primarily cell phones. Sexting has become quite popular amongst teens. Aransas Pass is not exempt from sexting related issues.
Sexting is something for parents to consider if they have children with cell phones or are preparing to provide their children with cell phones. Parents and children need to be aware of the repercussions of sexting.
Some of the Consequences:
- Once comments, pictures, or videos are sent, they can never be taken back and will most likely never completely go away.
- These pictures can have a severe impact on one’s attainment of educational advancement opportunities and future employment opportunities.
- Worst of all, the kids participating in sexting can be arrested and charged with crimes ranging from online solicitation, child pornography, and providing material harmful to a minor, even if the media transferred depicts the one being charged.
The temptations and actions of our youth today has not changed much from the youth of yesterday; what has changed, or advanced, is the technology available to our youth. Technology has offered our youth new ways to indulge in these temptations and act out upon them. Unfortunately, this same technology used in this manner can severely scar one’s future, reputation, and family.
Ways to protect our youth:
- Parents need to communicate with their kids. Have frank conversations with your children and do so in a non-threatening manner. Talk to them about the serious consequences of their actions if they engage in sexting.
- At night, limit your kid’s cell phone usage or eliminate it when the parents go to bed. Have your child hand over his phone or place it in a public area to prevent usages during night time when the parents are asleep.
- Parents, know the laws governing explicit communications between minors. Share these laws with your children. Make sure your children are informed how unforgiving the Internet can be once comments, pictures, or video of this nature makes into the web. This media can continue to surface for years after the initial incident.
- Get your kids to interact during these conversations. Let them assist in creating the boundaries that need to be in place to protect them and others with whom they associate with.
- Get with your child’s cell phone provider and utilize the parental controls which most cell phone providers offer their customers. These controls can control phone calls, text messages, multimedia messages (pictures and video), and times of usage.
- The most extreme method of monitoring is by use of spy software that can be installed on a cell phone. The software allows one to monitor all activity on the device while being complete invisible to the person in actual possession of the phone.