In the era of smartphones and internet, sexting is quite a usual practice amongst teenagers. However, the consequences can be quite fatal as far as their emotional and mental healths are concerned. Starting from embarrassment to humiliation, from being the victim of bullying to termination of childhood friendship, there are many severe consequences which result due to the constant habit of sexting amongst teens.
Your teen might also face serious objectification and suffer from guilt and shame. He/she might also enter an abyss of hopelessness at certain point of time. He/she can end up doing something fatal. Apart from the emotional consequences there are also some legal complications. These complications might impact your teen’s life. For instance they might become victim of child pornography. It can be a deadly mess to deal with in the United States. In some cases your child might also be registered as a sex offender. It might impact his/her education and work-life. Sometimes the consequences can drag you as a parent into the mess. The legal hassles re dangerous when it comes to teen sexting. It becomes irrecoverable if the contents are videos and images.
Sexting: Things Parents Need to Know
When sexts in the form of written words or photos or videos are being sent outside to someone else there is no guarantee that they will stay safe only with that person. Once a relationship breaks (which often happens in the teenage) the other person might very well sabotage the ex by sharing the contents of the sex chat between them. (Strassberg, 2013)
These often jeopardize the mental peace of the teen. This puts them under a lot of mental pressure. He/she feels humiliation and pressure from the peers. This is a real problem in the teen ages. This is because they tend to have an active social life. Any kind of forced reclusion can impact the mind in a severe manner.
Cyber-bulling is an obvious side-effect of sexsting amongst teenagers. Young teenagers, especially women become victim of cyber-bullying. It is caused by contents shared during sexting. The messages and the images spread like wildfire. Before anyone can comprehend the pictures will be all over the internet.
Anyhow, teenagers are vulnerable to cyber-bullying. Incidents like sexting just trigger the possibility of it more. Sexsting increases the chance of cyber-bullying. Even without the knowledge or intention of the receiver sometimes sensitive contents go in wrong hands. This creates a lot of mess.
Termination of Friendship
On the occasions when one person is stigmatized due to sextsing, the friends and the peers are quick to retaliate. They start to keep distance from that person. It is a common teen psychology. So, the habit of sexting actually increases the chances of ending relationship amongst friends. They are more likely to get rejected by the peer cycle. This eventually leads to disinterest in things. Your teen might ultimately fall prey to depression. (Strassberg, 2013)
Experiencing Guilt and Shame
Once the pictures are out there in the public it is very difficult to actually get it back. That is why in most occasions the teens, which are the victims of bullying and abuse. They feel ashamed and guilt of committing a fatal mistake. (Salter, 2012)
Even one photo or video content can ruin the reputation of the person. That is the reason why the stakes are really quite high. The feeling guilt again might drive the person to take drastic measures. The measures may include something like avoiding public exposures or even contemplating suicide.
Becomes victims of Objectification
Girls who end up sending nudes or exposing pictures to their respective boyfriends are often at risk of being objectified by others as an easy prey. They often get sexually assaulted. This is because people often try to take advantage of the situation.
People tag them with all sorts of demeaning names. As a result of this they are very vividly demarcated in the student society. This again puts your teen in quite a mental stress.
Feeling of Hopelessness
Your teen might get overwhelmed by the feeling of hopelessness and frustrations as a consequence of sexting. Having sex with your partner is something else but when the contents of your private conversations become public then you ought to feel the depression.
Some kids take on other dangerous avenues of addiction. They do this to bypass these suffocating feeling of hopelessness. The feeling of constant hopelessness can actually make your child depressed and also an addict.
Risks of Getting Criminal Charges
Exposed contents of sexting can be deemed as contents of child pornography. This happens especially when your child is below 18 years of age. The law and the authority can accuse your child of taking part in child pornography. (Arcabascio, 2010)
The legal hassles are sometimes too much to tackle for the teens. These charges hamper their education and also future career. Sometimes they might be rusticated from their schools and universities. This happens due to such backgrounds. The consequences might be fatal.
Hampers their Academics
The habit of sexting itself is a hindrance to academics and other activities. Your teen will be constantly distracted and even get addicted to sexting. They will tend to ignore their other activities and routines. They will focus only on exchanging videos and pictures with each other.
This hampers their academics and sporting activities. They tend to get lazy and their entire life surrounds on their smartphones. (Salter, 2012)
Leads to Depression and other Mental Ailments
The habit of sexting leads to depression amongst many kids. When they are exposing themselves too much virtually they tend to get frustrated with it within no time. Studies show that extensive sexting can lead to depression. There are chances of other mental ailments like anxiety amongst young children. (Strassberg, 2013)
They seem to lose fun in other stuffs and become creatively numb. The relationship with their partner also suffers eventually. This is because they rely on virtual conversation more than real meetings.
Loses Interest in Actual Intimacy
Puberty is actually a time which shapes your sexual identity and nature. Too much sexting often makes the children lose interest in actual intimacy. This jeopardizes the sexual activities in the future. They feel like that they have already experienced everything.
But at the same time sexting overwhelms them with a feeling of emptiness. This leads to a lack of interest. The scope of exploring is much less when it comes to sexting. This loss of inertest impacts their overall sexual behavior in the future.
Can get Registered as a Sexual Offender
Teens who are heavily involved in sexting can actually be subjected to more severe legal consequences. They can be tagged as sexual offenders. This kind of accusations cost a lot in a person’s life. They might have to carry the burden throughout his/her entire career. (Arcabascio, 2010)
Be it sexual or not, as a parent it is very difficult to track down your teen’s activities. All you can do is educated them. You should make them aware of the consequences. As a parent, you must discourage your teens to share digital content of nudity. This is because once the pictures or videos are out there on the internet then there are no ways they can be retrieved.
The contents are likely to cause great hassles for your child. They will also as a result also hassle you. Talk to your children about sex. You should guide your teen to have safe and legal sexual activities instead of doing something foolish which might ruin their lives.