In recent days, it has become a trend for teenagers to date people. Both boys and girls are too curious and unable to control their desire to date someone. We live in times where information is too easily accessible for the youth, and while there are pros of this in terms of educating kids, there are some serious cons too. Parents may be ignoring the fact that their kids are not just using their cell phones for chatting or taking photos that they see. Sexting is taking over the youth and it’s not without consequences.
What Is Sexting?
Simply speaking, it means sending intimate or nude photos of oneself to someone else. While the general idea is that people in a relationship must do this, it really isn’t a requirement. Sadly, our youth fails to understand that this is not a sign of a mature relationship. It doesn’t make them adults to involve themselves in such things. Worse, it doesn’t offer any guarantee that the person you are sending such intimate images of yourself to will not abuse your trust.
It has happened too frequently in our society that teenaged girls have been humiliated and harassed for their foolishly trusting boys and sharing such photos and videos with them. It is time for parents to take things into their hands and take serious measures to save the minds of their children. Imagine the trauma girls and boys face when they see images of themselves going viral online. Educating the youth about the fact that sexting is morally unaccepted and nothing worth risking is becoming important.
There is no doubt that isolating kids from modern technology is not the solution. Parents cannot stop them from using the computer, tablets, iPads, and all kinds of cell phones. They cannot stop kids from talking to people online, and worse, they cannot stop sexual predators and cyber bullies from finding innocent victims.
How Sexting Begins
The first step usually is that the predator finds the prey. The prey is usually the innocent and inexperienced teenager, and sometimes, even unmarried adults who haven’t been exposed to the modern society so much. The predator knows what he wants and through several experiences knows exactly what to say and what to do to win the prey’s trust. It starts with friendly texts and internet messenger chats – it starts with a simple “Hi.”
After that, there are frequent messages, usually early in the morning and at night. Once the predator becomes a part of the prey’s daily life, and the prey starts finding the emotional dependency, the prey takes things to the next level by calling it love. Girls quickly fall for this because they are born to love unconditionally. Teenaged girls particularly are too innocent, which is why they are frequent victims of such predators online, more than boys are. This has permanently damaging consequences on the psychology of the teenagers, predator, and the prey alike.
Cyber Love Trap
Once the victim falls into the trap of “cyber love,” the prey asks for intimate photos. If the prey resists, then follow threats of the predator’s leaving. Because by this stage the victim becomes too dependent on the predator for emotional advantage and believes it is real love, he or she does what the predator wants. Sadly, young kids do not realize that they can still walk away before they go further into the trap by sharing their intimate (nude) photos.
All it takes is one mistake, and then the innocent teenager loses all the innocence, and become too aware of sexuality at a young age. The victim becomes a constant victim after that and imprisoned by the predator to continue sending such videos and photos. In the worse case, there are blackmails and threats to make the victim do other horrible things that the predator wants.
If things get out of hands, the predator may even receive an invitation into the house or might meet the victim elsewhere and take things to the next level – having real physical relations. The victim doesn’t always have to be willing once the predator has proof of the photos and videos. Because kids are too ashamed to share their misery and feel scared of the reaction of their parent to their mistakes, they never tell their parents. The fact is that parents eventually discover this, but when it is too late.
There has been an extreme case in the world where victims have committed suicide, or murdered by the predators.
What Can You Do?
As a parent, make it your duty to educate your kids about what is morally acceptable and what is not. Usually, people who become sexual predators are teenagers who never got the right guidance by their parents. The first step parents should take is to make their kids realize that such things have serious and often deadly consequences for victims. What starts with an evil or mischievous act ends with permanent and irreversible damage.
Secondly, parents must educate girls and boys alike, about the fact that sharing nude photos online. Anyone who asks for this is a bad person and it is proof that this is not true love. Even single adults must face the bitter truth that sharing such intimate photos and videos is no guarantee that the person will marry you. Instead of taking such risks, it is better to play it safe.
Another measure parents can take is keeping tabs the activities of their kids via their cell phones. This means checking their conversations with people via all kinds of internet messengers (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Kik, Line, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger). They should check them regularly on social media platforms too.
Sexting is NEVER OKAY! It comes with more cons and hardly many pros and it is honestly unacceptable. Teenagers who have been involved in this should stop right now! Single adults who have been part of this should refrain from it. While married people may be doing this because it is safe for them, it is better for them to make sure, they use all safety precautions by never keeping a backup of intimate videos and photos of their wife or husband.
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