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What is Sexting?

What is Sexting?

 

            Sexting is a play on the word “texting.” Sending text messages has been linked with an increase in vehicle accidents. Sexting can also have devastating consequences. Sexting is the action of sending photos depicting yourself or others as seminude or nude to others on cell phones or posting these pictures online

            Many teens or young adults don’t think of sexting as having repercussions but instead mistakenly view it as a joke or a false attempt at attracting others.  Once a photo or message is in cyberspace, it might be there forever, or someone else might obtain it and distribute it. In North Dakota, sexting can result in felony charges: creating, possessing or distributing child pornography.

            Sexting should be addressed with teens and young adults but remember not to panic.

Make sure to tell teens and young adults that the messages they send through the phone are not private or anonymous and that these messages can be shared with people they don’t know or don’t want to see their messages. Also, sharing with teens and young adults the dangers of sexting is important. By creating an atmosphere of openness, teens and young adults will feel comfortable talking to you about problems that may arise in their lives.

            Parents or caring adults can check on teens’ Facebook or MySpace accounts. Have a talk with them about what information is public and what information is private. Know who they

are spending time with when they are not at home. Also, learn who they are communicating with online and on the phone. Supervising and monitoring teens does not make you overbearing;

it is part of being a caring adult.

            For more information on how to set clear expectations with your teen, ways to ensure your teen does not send or receive sext message and how to report a sexting message, come be part of the Lake Region Center for Distance Education and Outreach Services – “Sexting-What Caring Adults Need to Know” on Monday, September 20, 7 pm at LRSC.  Contact the LRSC at #662-1510 for details. 

 

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