- Yes, it can be problematic, as can almost any form of communication.
- Texting is (currently) a ubiquitous communication method, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, so as parents, teachers, and caring adults, we have to make our peace with it.
- Texting about relationships and sex isn’t going anywhere either.
- There are serious and substantial legal issues tied up in minors taking and/or exchanging nude or sexual images of themselves. Teenagers (and everyone, really) needs to be aware of the legal ramifications of their actions.
Basically we need to educate ourselves about (1) texting as a means of communication – it’s not all bad, and (2) the legal ramifications of a minor taking pictures of him or herself and passing them along. Then we need to move along to having conversations with children about the potential legal ramifications.
What we do not need to do is unilaterally and without instigation take our children’s cell phones away, remove their texting privileges, or lecture them about morality and modesty. We need to listen far more and talk far less about sexting, just as we do about so many topics.
If you want to learn more, or are looking for places to send your kids to gather more information, here are a few other places to read more about sexing:
- Wikipedia article (or, The Basic Overview)
- Scarleteen.com (a great place for teens to learn more)
- Textual Misconduct (on Slate.com)
- Yes Means Yes blog (I can’t go on enough about this one! It’s really great.)