Think Before Hitting Send

Don’t assume anything you send or post is going to remain private

Your messages and images will get passed around, even if you think they won’t.  Lots of teens say they have had naked pictures of sexual messages of other people shared with them.  And many teens say they themselves have spread these messages around to others.

 

There is no changing your mind once something is posted or sent - anything you send or post will never truly go away

Something that seems fun and flirty will never completely go away. Possible employers, college recruiters, teachers, coaches, parents, friends, enemies, strangers and others may all be able to find your past posts, even after you delete them. And it is nearly impossible to control what other people are posting about you. Think about it: Even if you have second thoughts and delete a racy photo, there is no telling who has already copied that photo and posted it elsewhere.

 

Don’t give in to the pressure to do something that makes you uncomfortable, even online

Lots of teens say they sent sexual messages or naked pictures because they felt pressure from friends or from guys.  You don’t ever have to do something you are uncomfortable doing.  Your body is your own, and you should never have to feel pressured to be sexual if you don’t want to be.

 

Consider the recipient’s reaction

Just because a message is meant to be fun doesn’t mean the person who gets it will see it that way. Research has shown many girls send sexual messages as a joke, but many boys think those messages mean that girls want to date or hookup in real life.  Always consider the real life effects of sending sexual messages. 

 

Nothing is truly anonymous

You may send sexual messages under a screen name or hidden profile, but many people might know who you really are.  Never assume that your electronic message is anonymous.  People can find out who you are if they try hard enough.

 

Information cited from The National Campaign to Prevent Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com

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