You have heard of sexting. But what exactly is it? Sexting is sending or forwarding sexually suggestive or nude pictures on your cell phone or online.  Think it isn’t a big deal?

Think again:

  • You could get arrested – If the parties involved are under 18 it is considered child pornography. This could put you on the sex offenders’ registry.
  • That picture you sent your boyfriend? He just sent it to his whole contact list!
  • You could get a bad reputation. You forward a sext, embarrassing the person in the picture and causing them a variety of personal problems and stress.

Who is sexting? And why?

  • One-fifth of students have sent nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves; 15 percent of these people have sent these to people they only know online
  • Thirty-eight percent of teens say nude or semi-nude photos get shared with other people
  • Sixty-six percent of girls and 60 percent of boys say they send photos to be “fun or flirtatious”
  • Thirty-nine percent of teens have sent sexually suggestive texts and 48 percent have received them

The bottom line is – sexting is a bad idea. In the age of social media, it’s easier than you think for compromising pictures to spread around your community. Phones can be stolen, accounts can be hacked, and pictures can be shared. Sometimes the person you think you can trust with these things will go behind your back. It’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sexting!

(References: CBS, ABC, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, MTV, the Wall Street Journal)