According to the Associated Press, sexting among your kids is more prevalent than you think. Sexting is sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chat by cell phone or online. More than a quarter of young people are involved in sexting in some form. Many young people don’t see a problem with sexting. They think it is nothing but a joke and they laugh about it.
What they don’t understand is sexting is serious because of the dire consequences. Criminal charges can be charged to kids who send out nude pictures. Then there is digital bullying that can occur. The worst consequence in at least two cases is suicide. An eighteen year old girl hung herself after weeks of ridicule at school. She sent a nude picture of herself over her cell phone and when she broke up with her boyfriend he forwarded the picture to other girls.
That’s why parents need to be aware of what their kids are sending over their cell phone. Also, sexting messages that kids send can also be very graphic. A local Denver TV station broke the sexting code text and printed it so parents can be aware of what their kids are texting. For example, a text message of “Code 9” means parents are around. “GNOC” means get naked on camera and “FOL” means found of leather.
Thirteen year olds up to twenty-five year olds are sexting messages to their friends. Unfortunately, about half of all young people say they have been targets of digital bullying.That means someone wrote something about them on the Internet that was mean or a lie, or someone shared an e-mail or instant message that was supposed to be private. Less often, it can be more serious, such as taking pictures or video of someone in a sexual situation and sharing it with others.
Young people need to understand that sexting is not only a crime but also can make their lives miserable. Adults, talk with your kids and let them know that “sexting” is dangerous and can change their lives forever.