Immersed in technology and caught up in the impulse of the moment, a teenager sends a sexually explicit text message to one of his or her classmates—and ruins a life in a matter of seconds. Exaggeration? Sadly, no. This collection of six ABC News segments makes clear to viewers the dangers involved in what has become known as “sexting”—a form of spontaneous free expression which, all too often, becomes a digital avenue for bullying, harassment, and self-destructive behavior. Parents, educators, legal authorities, and teens all take part in these illuminating and sometimes disturbing stories. Contains mature content. Viewer discretion is advised. Clip duration ranges from 2 to 10 minutes.
Video clips include…
• Sexting and Teens: A look at the disturbing trend of kids snapping lewd photos with their phones—and the legal fallout. Vicky Mabrey visits a Pennsylvania town in which a teenage girl and other students face charges for what they see as harmless texting.
• The Consequences of Sexting: Twenty percent of teens admit to engaging in X-rated text messaging. Gigi Stone reports on two teen boys who forwarded nude photos of a female classmate and will likely be charged with transmission of child pornography.
• Sexting Spreading Among Teens: Sending explicit pictures using cell phones is becoming increasingly popular among young people. Gigi Stone presents stories of arrests and prosecutions from around the country.
• Teen Sex Gone Viral: A profile of 18-year-old Phillip Alpert, who was forced to register as a sex offender after being convicted of trafficking in child porn—specifically, photos of his 16-year-old girlfriend, emailed in a moment of anger.
• Parents Discuss Sexting with Teens: Diane Sawyer moderates a group talk involving parents, teens, and experts—covering the basic issue of sexting, its short- and long-term consequences, and ways to educate young people about steering clear of it.
• Parental Text Control: Becky Worley examines the uses and implications of software and other high-tech protective measures which can help parents prevent the unsafe use of cell phones, digital photos, and text messaging.