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Sexting: Don't Expose Yourself
Sexting is not a good thing
If you are a parent, are you current with your tween or teen's fads? what they do with their phone? on the internet?
Granted, it is hard to monitor them without getting into a huge confrontation that usually ends up in arguments regarding "privacy" rights, or, "freedom of speech" issues before they stomp off pissed, slamming the door.
Of course, when things do go awry, the tween or teen usually runs to mom or dad for the fix or comfort. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!
Sexting is happening much more frequently now that cell phones can literally do everything but cook. It has been a frequent thing with teens and now that the tweens (9-13) have the phones, sexting is catching on with them. Not a good thing. In fact, sexting was and is never a good idea for anyone, adults included.
Sexting is taking a photo of your most private parts, saving the photo and then sending it to friends or girl\boyfriends via their cell phone, or, doing the same using the internet. what seems harmless and like a joke to the senders is that once it is sent, they have NO IDEA WHERE IT WILL GO once their friend gets it. Sure, the friend gets it, checks them out and you know, then passes it on to others via the cell phone, who then do the same and on and on and on the exposed body part goes. It could cross state lines, end up in the hands of nasty characters who then post it on porn sites, or maybe as a joke, their friends post it on Facebook, Myspace for all friends and strangers to see. Maybe some are perverts, child porners who somehow start innocent contacts with them. "hey baby, you are hot", wanna meet?"
In other words, once sent, the boundaries are unlimited as to where the image may end up and how many will see it. The image exposing the body part might end in Cairo for all you know! Worse, many states now have laws that make it a crime to send images of kids under 16 using sexting or via the Internet. It is considered child porn. This not to mention the embarrassment or worse of your son's or daughter's image being displayed on public websites or having it in the cell phones of their friends at school.
Court cases already are testing the legal waters and the ACLU is there also claiming it is a First Amendment Right. Many states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wyoming have such cases active now, in one case, the photos came to light in October 2008 when school district officials confiscated several students' cell phones discovered photographs of scantily clad, semi-nude & totally nude teenage girls, many of whom were enrolled in the district. The DA threatened felony charges since the original person that received the image republished them to many of their friends and so on. The child porn law on most states that a person to takes the image or photo and sends it to others can be prosecuted. The person who receives it is not usually prosecuted.
Of course, as a parent, monitoring this is hard and you will probably only know after the fact unless you periodically examine the contents of their phone's images. I suppose, when you try, emotions run high, but otherwise, it will be a hard lesson for them. Being procative and talking about it as a preventative measure is the best. But they say they won't, yet, in a second of not thinking, they will. Be rest assured.