TEEN TRIBUNE – Never in history has mankind been more dependent on technology than in the 21st century. From mobile phones to IPods to the computer, these powerful machines are redefining the way humans work, play, and interact. But do these digital conveniences come at a price? Are our children paying for it?
What would disturb parents more, if they are aware of it, is how often sexually explicit materials find their way into the cellphones of adolescents. A lot of temptation can happen over the cellphone.
One rising fad that’s putting minors at risk is “sexting,” or sending sexy photos by phone. It gripped international headlines when, in a slew of cases, teens caught sexting in the United States were suspended from school or charged with possession and solicitation of child pornography.
According to a 2008 survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in the US…[pq]…22 percent of girls and 18 percent of boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and 48 percent have received them.[/pq]
Despite many teens claiming it is all done out of harmless fun, the consequences can be far-reaching and devastating, such as unwanted pregnancy. Whether it is out of fun or spite (many cases stem from spurned ex-boy/girlfriends), once the racy image goes viral, the victim can become the object of ridicule, bullying, and verbal and even physical harassment.
Low self-esteem develops, making the adolescent more susceptible to serious problems like depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide, as the parents of an 18-year-old girl in Ohio discovered when their daughter hanged herself after ex-boyfriend sexted her naked photo throughout school.
-Sunly Coo, Medical Observer