Technological advances have brought us a far cry from the days of passing notes in class. Now, students can text each other, send emails or instant message each other. It makes no difference if they are in class or between them, there is a consistent stream of connectivity. Parents may want their kids to have cell phones in case of emergency or as a secure line of communication, but it is also a tool that leaves them open to communicate with others. One unique issue that has developed over the past few years is Underage Sexting.
Underage Sexting: What is it?
Underage sexting is when a minor sends a photo of a sexual nature. They might be coerced into doing so or do it without pressure. In some cases, this is to someone they like, but it can also be to someone in a façade. There are cases of predators and porn site administrators obtaining sexting photos from teens. They might end up on a website or circulated amongst friends, but the result of underage sexting can never be anything innocent or pure. This is a situation that has to avoid; it will never end well.
Underage Sexting: The Problem
We all remember high school and wanting to be an adult and be treated like one. There are plenty of challenges that arise from teens that wish they were older and sexting can be one of them. Anything can seem more adult when you add a sexual connotation, and that can be dangerous when you aren’t quite an adult, yet. They don’t understand that they are minors and the law doesn’t allow them to do certain things, that it is illegal for them to send inappropriate photos. Also, it may seem like they are just playing around with someone who is interested in them when it could be someone sharing their photos with others; or worse, a predator.
Underage Sexting: The Aftermath
It is easy for a teenager to get swept up in the attention that comes with texting. But, once it becomes underage sexting; there is a whole slew of other problems. Not only is it an illegal act, but it could also be a very embarrassing or dangerous one. Recently, photos acquired from underage sexting were posted on Russian websites. Also in recent news, Congressman Weiner is being charged with sexting a minor. It is easy for teens to dismiss these cases as something that couldn’t happen to them, that is why it does. These photos could end up anywhere and with anyone.
Underage Sexting: The Solution
There is no efficient way to prevent your teen from sexting. If there is internet or a cell connection, it’s possible. Jeremy Hunt has proposed a ban on sexting for anyone under the age of 18. However, underage sexting already has legal repercussions, and that hasn’t hindered the ever-growing number of teens who still do it. There are apps that are supposed to prevent your teen from sexting, but the jury is still out on whether or not they will work. There is also email as an option. Some parents only basic phones and steer away from smartphones. The problem is that even basic prepaid phones come with a camera, as bad as they might be. You can try only giving your kid their phone when they are going to school or away from you. But, that won’t stop anything from happening while they are on the bus or in class; it’s so easy to sneak off to the bathroom these days. You can try checking the messages they send, but messages can be deleted. No matter the solution, there is a problem.
Arrested? Find Out The Next Steps
If you find yourself in the middle of an underage sexting problem, you can ask questions here. It is a hard problem to fight and an even more challenging one to prevent. But, with some help, it will get a bit easier, and at least you will know what your options are. This is an increasing problem; it can feel overwhelming. It is natural for teens to go through obstacles and the most you can hope for is that they will learn from them. This is something you want to catch and address early on. You can read more about it here . There are always conversations you can have to try to make them understand. You want to make it clear that this will only bring difficulty in the long run. It may seem fun and innocent now, but it never ends well. The better they understand that the better a deterrent it may be. Ultimately, the choice to steer clear has to be theirs. If they want to sext, they will find a way. But, if they think it’s gross or there is a reason they shouldn’t; they are less likely.