“Sexting”: The New Love Note
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Remember the good old days when receiving a love note was as dangerous as it got?
Maybe I’m naive, or I live in a bubble, but are you kidding me? Teenagers in various forms of undress regularly sending photos of themselves to other teens via their cell phones? Yep, and it’s got a name: sexting.
Even if your teenagers do not participate in such outlandish behavior, do you realize that because their cell phone numbers are readily available to their peers they could actually receive such a photo?!
I have warned my tween and teen of the dangers of the Internet, Facebook, television, and movies. Now I have to tell them to beware of their own cell phones? Evidently I do.
I asked my teen daughter, and a friend who was visiting, if they had ever heard of teens sending such photos to others. “Of course” was their answer.
“Frightening” was my reply.
As we discussed the phenomenon I asked them what they would do if they received such a photo. They explained that their friends were not “like that” and that everyone knew better than to send them such a photo. In addition they said they would never open a photo from someone unless they knew who it was.
From the time we allowed our daughter to have a cell phone (at age 15) we have told her to give her phone number only to close friends and to ask them not to give it to others. I have personally seen her delete messages from numbers she doesn’t recognize — smart girl!
So moms, if this was not on your radar screen, get it on there. And warn your children never to open unsolicited photos or messages from anyone.
What I would give for the simplicity of a handwritten note with a heart-dotted “I love you”!