In If You or Your Kid Is An Idiot, Apple Is Developing An Anti-Sexting Product moi said:
We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Prime example, the recent brouhaha involving recent Duke University grad, Karen Owen. See, Another Duke University Sex Scandal Involving a Very, Very Stupid Young Woman , Response to Reader Comments , and Response to Reader Comments: More About Karen Owen The blog has posted quite a bit about the perils of “sexting.” So, if the devil made you do it or you are too drunk to remember or think straight, or you really just can’t help yourself, help may be on the way.
For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out.
Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device
The “Sexting” patent background info states that the problem it solves is that there is currently “No way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”
And the patent itself:
In one embodiment, the control application includes a parental control application. The parental control application evaluates whether or not the communication contains approved text based on, for example, objective ratings criteria or a user’s age or grade level, and, if unauthorized, prevents such text from being included in the text-based communication.
So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue.
Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.
That picture’s not as private as you think
22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves over the Internet or their phones.
22% of teens admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive.
38% of teens say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely.
29% of teens believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
(All of the above are from CosmoGirl and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2009.)
Why sexting matters
In a technology world where anything can be copied, sent, posted, and seen by huge audiences, there’s no such thing as being able to control information. The intention doesn’t matter — even if a photo was taken and sent as a token of love, for example, the technology makes it possible for everyone to see your child’s most intimate self. In the hands of teens, when revealing photos are made public, the subject almost always ends up feeling humiliated. Furthermore, sending sexual images to minors is against the law, and some states have begun prosecuting kids for child pornography or felony obscenity.
There have been some high profile cases of sexting. In July 2008, Cincinnati teen Jesse Logan committed suicide after a nude photo she’d sent to a boyfriend was circulated widely around her high school, resulting in harassment from her classmates.
Fortunately, networks with large teen audiences — MTV, for example — are using their platforms to warn teens against the dangers of sexting. And the website That’s Not Cool.com uses teen-speak to help resist cyber peer pressure. Hopefully, these messages will get through.
Advice for Parents
Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved — and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem. Besides, if they do send it on, they’re distributing pornography — and that’s against the law.
Check out ThatsNotCool.com. It’s a fabulous site that gives kids the language and support to take texting and cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue.
Common Sense Media has other great resources:
Internet safety (70)
Digital citizenship (38)
Social networking and virtual worlds (35)
Mobile and communicating (38)
Creating media (15)
Sex and violence (45)
Physical health (42)
Educational issues (23)
Celebrities and stereotypes (26)
Family media management (93)
En español (6)
By Entertainment Type
Mobile Apps (28)
Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”
In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline…
~Abraham J. Heschel
He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.
Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
File This Under What The Heck Were These Parents Thinking?
Acting Stupid Could Cost You And Your Child
Update: Acting Stupid Could Cost You And Your Child
Sexting is looking For love In All The Wrong Places
Update: Sexting is Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places
Alert: How to Teach Kids How to use the Media Responsibly
Make Sure That Children Understand the Privacy Issues Associated With Facebook
Alert: A Nasty New Social Networking Site May Promote Cyberbullying
Alert: Resources to Help Monitor Your Child’s Media Intake
Oh Well, It Had to Happen. Internet Rehab for Child Internet Addicts
The Sexed Up Children of This Culture
Should OSPI Develop A Model Rule About Teacher/Student Texting/Sexting?
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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