So, you’re on your phone and you get a notification. “OMG check this out!!” It could be something great, like an invitation to a friend’s party, a funny picture, or a link that’s just perfect for your assignment. Technology makes all these things really easy. But what if you open it and find a sexual picture that you don’t want to see? Maybe it’s a private picture of someone you know. Or maybe it’s a nasty anonymous message. These kinds of things aren’t new, but new technologies mean that they’re much easier to access and to spread among heaps of people. So, here are a few things that are good to consider when using technology.
Technology can help people meet, communicate and strengthen their relationships. However, sometimes people bring the nasty side of their relationships to technology too. Fights, bullying and breakups that occur through technology can have damaging effects because they are public, embarrassing and difficult to delete or avoid. It’s important to consider other people’s feelings when using technology, and when in doubt talk to the person directly.
Things you can do
- Check your privacy settings regularly.
- Only add or friend people you know and avoid giving out personal details.
- Think before you post, send or forward. Do you really want your grandma to see that?
- Treat others how you would like to be treated.
- Block and report offensive, abusive or illegal material.
- Check out Kids Helpline for more info.
Sending nude or sexual pictures or video is sometimes called sexting. Someone might choose to do this as a way to flirt and the intended receiver usually keeps the image private.
However, in Australia nude or sexual imagery of someone under age 18 is considered child pornography. This means that you could get in some serious legal trouble if:
- You’re under 18 and you send a sexual image of yourself
- You receive a sexual image of someone under 18
- You take or pass on a sexual image of someone under 18
So, it’s best to think before you sext and never pass on a nude or sexual image.
Sexual images or videos intended to arouse are called pornography, or porn. Porn has been around a long time, but new technologies have made it much easier to access. This means that more people than ever have been exposed to porn and at younger ages, even though the legal age to access pornography is 18.
Porn vs reality
Some people might think that porn is sexy and fun, but porn doesn’t always send positive or accurate messages about bodies, consent and relationships.
Whether or not you like porn, the important thing to remember is that porn isn’t the real world.
Some people don’t like to watch porn or do things that are shown in porn, so always check with your partner before you try something new.