The Hidden Risks of Sexting

We have embraced sexting as an outlet for budding our sexual development.

Sexting might be considered “the new normal” but sexting can be destructive to some teens.

A new norm that can become a serious problem for young people…. doesn’t sound so norm to me.

Teens may sext for the following reasons:

To show off. Teens, especially boys, think it makes them look cool to have nude pictures of their girlfriends. Sometimes they will distribute what is supposed to be a confidential picture to their guy friends to brag about how hot their girl is.

Model others. Teens will participate in sexual bullying because of what they see others doing. Influences can include everything from the adults in their lives to reality television, to movies and music. Teens often model their behavior after what is in front of them.

To entice someone. Sometimes teens will send nude or pictures of themselves or sexts to soon-to-be boyfriends or girlfriends hoping to hook up. For some teens, sexting has become a dangerous way to start or maintain a relationship with a significant other.

To prove commitment to someone. Couples will sometimes share sexually provocative pictures as a part of or instead of actually having sex. Girls more often feel like if they don’t participate in sexting they are “prude”. Many go against their instinct and send the sexts or dirty pic anyway. Many times, boys in particular will sexually bully girls to gain approval from their friends or to give the appearance that they are sexually experienced.

Like everything in life, there is always a consequence for our actions. We
are used to quenching our thirst with a glass of water, but teens are nixing the water and looking to sexting to satisfy the thirst.

Like all of us did when we were teens, most literally lack the physical ability to correlate potential cause and effects. As a result, teens are more susceptible to situations that involve peer pressure, drugs or alcohol, and even sexting.

Because teens lack the connection of what is safe and what is not, a hindered ability to monitor risky situations is becoming more evident in teens.

Undoubtedly, this leaves teens willing to take risks that an adult never would, ultimately leading them to snap that intimate selfie to a friend or even a stranger. (BTW, Not safe!)  What fuels this fire, unfortunately, is popular “snapchat sexting” and smartphone applications such as snapchat that allow for transmission of nude photos easily.

Teens don’t understand the immediate social consequences.

Sexting may seem innocent at first, but soon you will realize it becomes out of your control.

Sexts can be shared, made public, or go viral when they fall into the wrong hands. One of the main problems with sexting is that the receiver will basically hold all power in the relationship.

When you share intimate photos, it can take a negative turn when you break up, friendships fall apart, or a person feels the need to share images to hurt someone.

Sounds crazy but, exes or bullies are the ones who will usually leak your nudes or sexy pic because they know it will hurt you.

This sext-related bullying can lead to serious problems such as depression, problems with academic performance, and in some cases, even self-harm and suicide.

Teens don’t understand the long-term impact of sexting.

Teens will suffer the short term bullying and cruel remarks, but usually the bullying will subside over time. The rude comments will turn into a memory and life will go one.

Yes, life will go on…. but unfortunately the Internet does not forget. Teens who are sexting may not suffer the consequences that same day, but there is always the risk that your future can be ruined by a text message.

Unfortunately, not everyone we meet online is a friend or even who he or she claims to be. This is very important, and most people ignore this obvious fact.

Did you know that…

If a teen is convicted of sexting or sharing images, they will need to register as a sexual predator with the state. This will affect them for the rest of their lives. They will be limited in the places where they can live, careers, volunteer opportunities with their children, and the stigma of being a convicted felon.

Besides legal consequences, the images have the potential to impact their chances for scholarships, acceptance to college, and being offered potential jobs.

Convinced not to sext yet?

Teens will don’t think they will experience guilt and shame.

Having sexts shared or naughty images shared with a mass audience can cause a huge amount guilt and shame. As a result, kids who participate in sexting often regret having done so. It also impacts self-esteem leaving them feeling vulnerable and exposed.

Kids don’t know the Risk showing parents to legal consequences.

If parents know that their child is sexting and do nothing to end it, they may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The parents also can be subject to a civil suit if the victimǯs parents choose to sue.

If parents know about the sexting and also do nothing to end it, they may be subject to an investigation by Child Protective Services. Sometimes these investigations result in a child being removed from the home.

Sexting is not worth all of these legalities. Period.