Sexting and Online conversations
‘Sexting’ is a term for sending ‘indecent’ images and messages to others, using the internet or mobile phones. Indecent can include anything from provocative requests and rude comments that cross the line to nude photos and displays of masturbation. Not only is it important to understand what it means to receive an inappropriate message, it is also important to know when your messages, images and videos cross the line. Remember, if you wouldn’t show it to your parents, then you probably shouldn’t share it online!
Selfies – The Naked Truth
Taking selfies is so popular even politicians and priests are doing it, there’s nothing wrong with a few snaps of your smile! But when you start to think about sending selfies of more than just your face, you must first ask yourself:
- Am I doing this for myself, or for them?
- Will I regret sending the photos?
- How would I feel if these images were sent to others?
- Would I show my parents the same photograph?
It’s only a picture – what’s the problem?
Taking nude photographs of yourself and sending them to someone you think you can trust, can go drastically wrong. Whether it’s to your boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you’ve met online, a quick snap can have huge long term consequences and be the cause problems in the future. Remember, if you have shared something you regret and you’re being bullied because of it, it’s never too late to get help.
Think before you strip!
Here are a few things to think about before you make the decision to start sending suggestive photos without any clothes on.
- Do you feel this will prove to your boyfriend/girlfriend that you care or love them?
There are a number of different ways to show your partner you care for him/her, showing your body online or via text messages is not the way to declare your love for them.
- Are you under pressure to send one?
It’s your body, so should choose what you want to do with it, if someone who really cares about you they won’t put you under pressure.
- Do you think the other person will think less of you?
If they really care for you not wanting to send naked photos should not affect their opinion of you.
- Would I do it face to face?
If you’re in a relationship you might not feel ready to start having sex. If you don’t, are you really ready to share sexy pictures?
- Am I under the influence?
Being under the influence can make it more difficult to think straight. If things are getting hot, remember that you might not be thinking as clearly as usual. Take a little more time before deciding to send a picture.
- Does it pass the Billboard Test?
Would you put it on a billboard? Would you share it with your dad, mum, nan or a teacher? If not, don’t share it online.
- Could I send something else?
If you’re really unsure how to reply to someone who has sent you a provocative message of nude photograph then head to your app store and download ‘Zipit’. This is a free app that helps you get flirty chat back on the right track with funny photographs and witty comebacks to help you stay in control.
- Is this abuse?
If you have an indecent photograph/video of someone that you send onto others without their consent you are breaking the law, your actions can be construed as abuse, even if you thought you was just having a laugh with your friends.
Think before you press send!
Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
If you share a picture or video online or on your phone, someone else might send it further. You could lose control of it and who knows where it might end up? What if your mum, dad or teacher saw it?
Your giving bullies ammunition.
You’ve probably heard stories of teenagers who have been badly bullied because of naked pictures online, like the tragic case of Amanda Todd. If you’re being bullied because of an image, there is help out there for you.
You could be blackmailed.
If you send a picture you wouldn’t want other people to see and that photo gets into the wrong hands, you could be in danger of being blackmailed.
It’s against the law.
If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to take or share an ‘indecent’ picture of yourself, or to look at or share someone else’s. If it’s naked, a topless girl, contains genitals or sexual acts, including masturbation it is classed as ‘indecent’!