Children and teenagers in Texas are more connected to the outside world than ever before. They spend a lot of time online and share things that may be too personal. Although they are doing more adult-like things, this does not mean that their brains are developing any faster and many are making poor choices about the things they are texting, sharing or posting.

Verywellfamily cites a report that claims that one in every seven teenagers engages in sexting at some point. In a similar point, as many as 25% of teens will receive sexually explicit emails and texts. Many do so because they feel pressure from their peers or believe it is a joke. Because there are real consequences for sexting, it is important that teenagers understand the gravity of what they are doing before they do it.

Teens should know that sexting may be considered child pornography. Any partially or completely nude pictures of minors are considered child pornography in many states. This means that even exchanging these pictures can be considered a felony. Even if the pictures were shared consensually and taken without pressure, there may still be serious consequences.

Sexting can also lead to sexual bullying or open the door for sexual predators to contact teenagers. Once a picture is sent, there is no way to control who sees it. Private photos are often shared online and passed around and even exposed to sexual predators. Teens are also subjected to bullying and slut-shaming when private pictures are shared with others.

Once a picture has been reviewed by a recipient, there is no way to take it back. Whether it is on social media, through email or text message, these images can no longer be controlled by the person sending them. If they are shared with another person, they may never go away.

While many make the choice to sext, they need to understand exactly what the consequences can be. Anyone dealing with criminal charges because of sexting may benefit from speaking to an attorney.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.