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Parents Are Concerned About Texting and Sexting: Why The Need To See Other People’s Text Messages

When parents are thinking about how their kids are using smartphones, they usually think about social media, shopping, or gaming apps. However, they rarely think about and ask themselves how to retrieve text messages from another phone. And why would they? Shopping and gaming apps cost real world money, sometimes too much money. Social media distracts children from other activities and impinges on their other activities. Gen Z kids are all so used to these apps that even a day without them can leave a gaping hole in their psyche, or so to speak.

But parents fail to remember that the main function of a mobile phone is communication, such as through texting. What’s more concerning than kids being addicted to social media and other apps is an app-addicted kid that spends too much time texting others.

Kids Want To Text Rather Than Speak In Person

Mobile phones may have changed our world by changing the way people communicate with each other. But there is one constant behavior: texting was and still is the most preferred way of communication using cell phones. This is especially true for millennials and the Gen Z kids. For many kids, a ringing phone is an annoying intrusion to their concentration. And this may sound crazy, but it’s a definite possibility. The reason why calling never caught on is because it does not allow kids to look at the phone’s screen while they are on a call. Talk about screen addiction. Plus, most of the calls that teens receive are from older family members who are not proficient in texting as they are.

More worrying than all of these, however, is the fact that most teens prefer to communicate through text than through face-to-face conversation. In recent years, about a third of all kids said that they favor in-person communication with their friends, down from about 50% in a mere 5 years. This simply means that most kids prefer texting than any other forms of communication.

Is Texting Actually A Big Problem?

There is no doubt that teens love to text. Maybe it’s their environment that is the cause of this, but is being addicted to texting really a problem? That depends on the individual’s case. In most cases, this can be an advantage as it helps them cope with the digital nature of the world they’re in right now. All forms of digital communication play a major part in the growth of their professional and personal lives. High School students of today will become tomorrow’s workers and they need as much of a boost as possible. The fact that they are communicating more effectively with each other in today’s setting should not be a big issue. That way, they will not have any difficulty in communicating with their bosses who are also very adept at texting.

But it is worth mentioning that communicating with other people in person still has a certain value. What’s important is for teens to understand the need to develop in-person communication as well as digital communication. For example, there are certain situations where they would have to do a presentation in front of other people, and nurturing skills for these types of situations will serve them well professionally and personally. 

The Dangers of Sexting

One of the most overlooked offshoots of texting is sexting This is where someone sends messages, images, or videos of a provocative or sexual nature to another person. The reason why this issue often goes unnoticed is that parents often trust their children enough that they do not spot-check their texts, or they are simply unaware that there is such a problem.

It is a known fact that 20% of all children with ages ranging from 13 to 17 have sent or received a sexual or provocative message. “So what?”, you say. “It’s just harmless flirting from a couple of teens.” If only that was true. 

There are several dangers of sexting that kids may not be aware of. Here are some of the more serious ones that they, and their parents, should know about:

    • There is a huge risk of the content being distributed outside their private conversation. It could be taken out of the conversation and posted somewhere where everybody in the victim’s community. This could lead to a seriously high level of difficulty and anguish for the young kid. This could lead to negative coping mechanisms such as self-imposed isolation, incidents of self-harm and self-imposed starvation. This might even lead to suicide attempts, which has a high risk of success.

All of this could lead to elevated levels of anxiety and depression, or an exacerbation thereof. What’s more, they will try not to think of consequences and solutions until too late in the game, even until after the fact.

    • State laws regarding sexting are written in such a way that they are often interpreted as sexual trafficking and child pornography. For example, a teenage girl, after some urging from her boyfriend, sent nude photos to him via text. Regardless of the age of the participants, the presence or absence of mutual consent, and the intent of either party, this behavior will still fall under anti-sexting laws and will be considered as creation and distribution of child pornography, which carries a hefty penalty under the law.

Having monitoring apps like Highster Mobile and Auto Forward can help parents deal with the issues of texting and sexting by letting parents see the entirety of the text messaging app of the target phone. When parents detect that their kids are engaging in inappropriate behavior, they can take steps to stop it in its tracks. Learn more about how these two top apps can help parents. Head to right now for more information.