Sending #selfies and revealing photos of yourself can be more dangerous than you think… so THINK before you SEND!
Here are 4 things to consider:
You could get in trouble with the Law.
What may start as fun and harmless flirting between two people can end with a world of trouble and heartache. Sexting between minors is a felony and can have serious legal consequences.Any nude photos or videos of someone under the age of 18 could be considered child pornography, which is illegal to own or distribute and could lead to serious consequences.
Nothing is ever REALLY private.
Once you press send, your picture is out in the world. You have no control over where it goes and how long it exists, NOT EVEN if you use SnapChat. Imagine your parents, friends at school, teachers or principal, or even your future employer seeing your most intimate photos. The best way to stay safe is to never send or post sexually revealing pictures or messages.
Are you being pressured into sending revealing photos?
Remember that healthy relationships should be based on mutual respect. If someone is pressuring you or harassing you into sending photos that you are not comfortable with, know that you have the RIGHT to say no. You can also let someone you trust know about it and get the support you need to stand up against the pressure, and possibly even help prevent this from happening to someone else. Just because someone sends you one DOES NOT mean you have to send one back! If someone sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send one in return that could be a sign of digital abuse. Please let someone you trust know to get the help you need.
Someone could (and likely will) share your photos.
You may feel like you can and/or want to trust people - especially your boo - but often times revealing photos and sexts are actually shared by the person they were intentionally sent to. Once photos are sent, they can easily be inappropriately shared without permission and used to bully, harass, intimidate, or embarrass the person who sent the photo.
Still thinking about pressing the send button? Read one teen’s storyof sexting-gone-wrong and learn how to avoid the negative consequences that could come from sexting.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.