Texting or Sexting?

having a cell phone is one thing, but sexting? what is that?


Texting or Sexting?

Something new for parents to worry about!

-Mandy Panter

teenagers textingIf you’re anything like me, you’re generally glad that your kids have cell phones. You know that if there’s a problem, they can always reach you. Likewise, if they are the problem, you can track them down. Our moms had to holler down the street when it was time for dinner–we just have to hit a couple buttons.

But this week’s spate of stories on the prevalence of “sexting” might have you reconsidering that family plan. According to a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, more than 50% of girls surveyed were pressured into sending their boyfriends nude or semi-nude photos of themselves via their cell phone.

But lest you think we can just blame the boys, 52% said they sent the photos as a “sexy present” for their boyfriends. And I think we know that teenage boys are completely discreet and would never do anything like post these photos online or even simply share them with two or three dozen of their closest friends!

There have even been cases where sexting has resulted in arrests. A 17-year-old Wisconsin youth was arrested after he posted online nude photos of the 16-year-old girl who broke his heart. Depending on the age of the kids involved, statutory rape charges can even be leveled, as was the case with a Rochester, New York, boy who forwarded around naughty photos of his 15-year-old girlfriend.

What can you do about this troubling new trend? As with many parenting challenges, the best offense can be to simply get in front of it and talk to your kids about it. Remind them that in this wired world, a momentary lapse in judgment can linger for the rest of their lives, affecting the impression others – college admission directors, future love interests and potential employers–form about them, fair or not. Don’t be apocalyptic about the warning you give, but maybe cite examples like High School Musical‘s Vanessa Hudgens or (God forbid) Paris Hilton.

Then again, maybe you don’t have to mention Paris Hilton. . .

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0 thoughts on “Texting or Sexting?

  1. All I can say is … I’m so glad I missed out on all this crap when I was a teenager back in the stone ages (the ’90s!) .. and boy do I dread my 5-year-old daughter being a teen … it’s scary to be a mom these days. I guess moms have always felt like that, but still…

  2. Of course talking with your kids is something that should be done. Hopefully you have the kind of relationship with your kids that this is a viable option. However, my child will not be having a cell phone with a camera. I know I can’t control what she gets, but I can surely control what she sends out!

  3. New? It’s not new at all, we have to accept that teens today have gotten very rotten, and all of our world is blame, those who remain with their morals are few, and thin everyday.

    Parents need more control, even if it annoys their teens, because if we could actually believe in them, all the measures wouldn’t be needed, or this paranoia.

    We’re to blame, they’re to blame.

    I agree with Fluke, I think teens should just be kept away from Cell phone camera, trust me they do NOT need all these pretty gadgets. A simple cell phone with a good battery, texting, and calling should be much more than enough. And I also believe we should keep them on short plans, no unlimited texting if you can’t trust them with it.

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