More than a quarter of teens in the United States have sexted before. This is according to numerous polls conducted by MTV, and the Associated Press. For those out of the slang loop, sexting is when sexually explicit messages or photos are sent over mobile phones. These texts, especially the photos, can be uploaded to the internet for all the world to see.
Teen Amanda Kwan says that she has sexted before. She feels that she was in the right to send the photos, because she is already nineteen and therefore more responsible. Kwan did admit that younger teens should not be sending sexually explicit photos.
Debra Reid is a social worker at the Reach Out Centre for Kids, and she has dealt with the aftermath of sexting teens before. She says that these teens don't realize that the person they send their messages to may end up posting them online.
"They have no idea where it's going, and once kids start thinking it's a funny joke or cool it goes viral, and these kids have no control over it," shared Reid. "They end up with a lot of embarrassment and a lot of trouble."
Pho Earnhardt is the mother of a pre-teen that already has a cellphone. She is worried about how she can't monitor what her daughter is sending out.
"You never know who her friends might send them to," lamented Earnhardt. "You don't know who will get ahold of it. "
Reid says that parents are usually in the dark about what their children are up to and more often than not find out what’s happening through relatives, like aunts, uncles and cousins.
Parents can use texted.ca to help inform their teens about the perils of sexting.