Category — technology

Latino Teens & The Sexting Epidemic

Texting continues to make the headlines, but unfortunately most of the attention is placed on the growing epidemic of doing it while driving.  More and more, texting has become a centerpiece in teens’ social lives and taking an active role in their sexual activity.  A new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 4% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging. Fifteen percent say they have received such images of someone they know via text message.  Sexting has quickly become an epidemic.

“Teens explained how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,” said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.”

Teens are also faced with overwhelming accounts of peer pressure to share sexually suggestive content. One high school girl that has been quoted mentioned: “When I was about 14-15 years old, I received/sent these types of pictures. Boys usually ask for them or start that type of conversation. My boyfriend, or someone I really liked asked for them. And I felt like if I didn’t do it, they wouldn’t continue to talk to me. At the time, it was no big deal. But looking back, it was definitely inappropriate and over the line.”

Another aspect that today’s teens don’t understand is that anything shared electronically lasts forever.  This is a very important point that needs to be emphasized.  Education will be critical.  Teens need to understand the long term implication to near sighted decisions.  More and more people are negatively impacted by their digital footprint.  Teens have been suspended, fired from jobs, charged with child pornography and refused admission at colleges for participating in sexually inappropriate activity online.

The key takeaway here is that in today’s environment, nothing is PRIVATE and has a PERMANENT effect on the rest of their lives.

March 8, 2011   2 Comments

Myspace vs. Facebook

What is Myspace? To many it’s a way to stay connected with current friends.  For others it’s a way to find friends who they have not seen in a while. Some people use it as a way to make new friends or flirt with someone they’ve never met. While Myspace users use the site to listen to music, write blogs or to upload videos, the truth is that Myspace is just a simple way to have fun while you network.  Having a Myspace page isn’t the easiest thing to do either. When you create an account, you have activated a profile. A profile that millions of people around the world can see and read. There is this belief that Myspace is for teens and Facebook for adults, and to be quite honest I agree.

I have a Myspace page, and I have to admit that it can sometimes be tough keeping up with a profile. The music you put on your profile is usually related to the mood you happen to be in. For example, many who appear to be in love have songs relating to passion, or those who are heartbroken play songs that show how their heart burns when they think of that certain someone. Believe it or not, when someone chooses a song, there is a lot of thought that goes into it. The beat of the song can label you with your friends too, making you cool or just a weirdo.  Myspace is merely another way teens express themselves, and many use it as a tool to attract more “friends” and gain popularity.

I noticed a lot of the things that go on in Myspace are childish and can potentially be very dangerous. There are many young girls out there exposing themselves a little too much to in an effort to catch guys’ attention, or even guys taking pictures of themselves showing their abs wearing only a towel. Although at times it’s funny to see pictures where they are half naked or just showing “booty,” it does not make it right. On Myspace there is SO much unnecessary drama. You have people threatening each other, you have people updating their life via their status…which in my opinion is ridiculous. It’s sad that things like this take Myspace beyond being just a chatting site. They turn it into free access for molesters to peruse for victims, or for others to bully and harass people. So now that I feel a bit more mature and feel that Myspace is no longer for me, I decided to move to Facebook. [Read more →]

August 10, 2010   1 Comment

Always Socially Connected

According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation the average teen spends practically every minute of his day using a smart phone, computer, TV or some form of electronic device.

The survey found that with technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth.

“At night, I can text or watch something on YouTube until I fall asleep,” Francisco Sepulveda, 14-year-old Lateen, said of his smart phone. [Read more →]

April 15, 2010   1 Comment