With the advent of the smartphone, more and more teenagers are taking part in the yet another modern danger called ‘sexting’. The trend is only getting bigger and has made new headlines, resulting in a lot of worried parents and teachers.
Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit text messages, voicemails, photos, videos, etc. via phone, webcam, or any other device. The combination of modern technology and involvement of preteens and teens is becoming a disturbing concern among parents.
Recent statistics show that approximately 39% of all teenagers have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages and 20% of teenagers have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves. Moreover, 48% of teenagers have admitted to receiving sexually explicit messages. What’s more worrying is that a staggering 44% percent of both teen boys and girls have admitted that it is quite common to share such messages with other people, thus, increasing the risk of making the messages available for anyone to view, for an indefinite period of time.
The common reasons behind sexting:
With more than 78% of teens owning powerful cell phones, the negative implications of using such a powerful tool is rising. Here are some of the common reasons why kids indulge in sexting:
To participate in sex can be a prime reason for teens succumbing to sending raunchy pics or message, just because
‘Everyone else is doing it’.
The sense that they are in control of their lives and have the right to make their own decisions
Pressure from their girlfriend or boyfriend to send as a romantic gesture
A feeling of being naughty, grown-up, and a sense to get noticed
As a sexual favor in exchange for some services
How sexting affects a teenager’s life?
Sexting presents some serious consequences not only for the person sending it, but also for the one who receives it. It is important as a parent, to make your child understand the implications that sexting can have on their lives.
Embarrassment and humiliation
Once an image or a text is sent, there is no looking back. There are no sure guarantees that the Sext will remain private, and the receiver would not forward it to other persons. Often when a relationship turns sour, or when friendship ends, these pictures and texts are often made viral as an act of revenge, resulting in pure embarrassment or humiliation.
There are countless stories of teens participating in sexting going tragic due to cyber-bullying. The pics and texts which seemed harmless at one point can create havoc when they are leaked or made viral by the receivers, with people calling offensive names in person and online. At such a young age, the repercussion of cyber bullying can have long-lasting effects.
Feeling vulnerable and exposed
Having shared sexually implicit messages and private images with a mass audience can leave teens with immense shame and guilt, resulting in immediate regret. It can also negative affect on their self-esteem.
Teens often don’t realize the legal ramifications of sexting. When they share nude images, they stand the risk of receiving criminal charges for child pornography. Often kids also run the risk of registering themselves as sex offenders in the eye of the law. It’s important that they learn that it is not a harmless act