Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones. It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device, according to Wikipedia.
A study of sexting found that people use it in the following three ways:
- Romantic partners share images of themselves with each other.
- Partners share images with others who are not part of the relationship.
- People who are not yet in a romantic relationship, but one individual hopes to be.
Sexting is not considered a crime or ‘wrong’ when two consenting adults engage in it. However, when these images, messages, or videos get into the wrong hands it can cause all kinds of problems for those involved. When your ‘private’ sexts are shared with others or uploaded to sites without your permission, it could be considered cyberbullying
For young adolescents, who are increasingly using this method of communication, sexting is the new way to flirt. It is often easier to chat with someone digitally than in person. Teens regard it as a save way to protect themselves against rejection. Peer pressure also plays a big role in sexting.
It is essential that teenagers understand the dangers of sexting:
- It will be in cyberspace forever. Once you pressed send, the sext is out of your control. It is not anonymous or private any more.
- You risk humiliation, public ridicule, and embarrassment
- Your self-image could suffer serious damage, which in turn could lead to anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges.
- Your reputation could be ruined, and the incident could haunt you far beyond your teenage years.
Parents, make sure you are familiar with the lingo your children use on their digital devices! Click here for sexting codes.
The root of pornography addiction is depression, anxiety, abuse, neglect, or low self-esteem. Addicts do not watch pornography primarily to be stimulated sexually, but use it to deal with stress and emotional discomfort.
Watching pornography makes addicts feel good, just like in the case of alcohol and drug abuse. The brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, also called the feel-good drug, and the user feels high and happy.
Many porn addicts feel extremely ashamed of their behaviour. For this reason, they lead a double life, which increases their stress levels tenfold. This in turn result in other physical and mental challenges.
Also do not underestimate the realities and impact on young children (from around 10 years) and teens who are watching and even forward pornography clips to their friends. This is not only illegal, but also has numerous negative effects on children and adults of all gender and ages.
If you or a loved one’s compulsive viewing of pornography affects his or her intimate relationships, health, or financial circumstances, or could end up in legal proceedings, an intervention is necessary.