Sexting and Internet Safety

According to Wikipedia, Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones. The word is a fusionof sex and texting, where the latter is meant in the wide sense of sending a text possibly with images.

In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes on Cosmogirl.com sponsored by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20% of teens (13-19) and 33% of young adults (20-26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically. Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages.A 2009 UK survey of 2,094 teens aged 11 to 18 found that 38% had received an “offensive or distressing” sexual image via text or email.

We live in a fast food culture. This is reflected in our media. Facebook, iPhones, twitter are ways we keep in contact with each other. Our tweens & teens are growing up in a digital era.  The court cases world-wide have prompted law makers in different states to pass laws that aim to protect our youth.

Thanks to YouTube, the proactive campaign by the Ohio Commission is available to anyone who has access to the internet. Maybe if we can educate our youth that what they send on their phones, what they put up on their facebook profiles can come back to haunt them. The taunting and teasing that many youth deal with can be daunting when faced with a forwarded email or compromising pictures.

  • Don’t put anything on the internet  or send texts that you don’t want your grand parents or your 8-year-old sister to see. Pictures of  you engaged in drunken debauchery or scantily clad can affect your reputation now & affect your future when applying for work.
  • Double check your privacy settings on face book and other social media sites. Whenever the sites get updated use the opportunity to check your settings.
  • Don’t give out personal information such as full name, address, telephone number, social security number, names of family members
  • Don’t Talk to Strangers. With the growth of online dating sites and facebook, this is one of the difficult ones to stick to. When meeting someone online, it is hard to know if this person is a predator or someone normal.
  • Don’t trust everything you see online.

Children of The Street Society has a campaign called Predator Watch right now. I am hoping to book one of their representatives on the show to talk about their campaign and some of the perils that face youth today.

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