Just this week a friend’s 13-year-old son was sent a naked image of his 13-year-old girlfriend. She sent it to him personally.
Another friend discovered a naked photo of her teenage son on his iPad and when she summoned the courage to talk to him about it he wasn’t in the least bit embarrassed. Conversely he was actually pretty proud of how good his body looked in the photo.
“I thought he’d be mortified that we found it,” she told me. “He shrugged and said to us “It’s no big deal.’”
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
I hear these stories about tweens and teens snapping naked pics and part of me wants to weep.
The other part of me wants to unplug the world’s wifi connection and scream “For the love of Ryan Reynolds, put the camera down and put your frickin’ clothes back on, people!”
Except what I’ve learnt in the last 24 hours is that that type of reaction may make a bad situation worse.
Nina Funnell, who is my go-to expert on anything to do with sex, consent and adolescent relationships (and also the co-author of Loveability: An Empowered Girls Guide to Dating and Relationships ), says that we need to park our outrage at the door and CALMLY work out how we’re going to navigate our kids through this sexting minefield.