It’s hard to think of a recent digital technology issue that’s captured the public imagination more than sexting. This may be because it combines elements of the classic moral panic with more modern “technopanic,” provoking worries not just about the morality of our children – and, in particular, young girls – but also about the possible effects of technology on how we grow, think and behave. As with most panics, of course, the issue is substantially more complicated and less sensational than we perceive it to be, and while it’s unlikely that our worries about sexting will ever seem in retrospect to be as absurd as our grandparents’ fears about crime comics, MediaSmarts’ new data shows that many of our beliefs and assumptions on the subject need closer examination.
Few issues capture our anxiety about young people and digital media so perfectly as sexting. As with technologies at least as far back as the telegraph, much of this anxiety has focused specifically on girls and women.
Sexting is most likely to have negative consequences when the person sending the sext has been pressured into doing it.
Level: Grades 11-12
Duration: 1 hour, plus time for assessment and evaluation activity
Author: MediaSmarts and TELUS
This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & CREATE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.
So, you’ve received a sext that you didn’t ask for. Now what?
Delete it right away
If someone sends you a sext that you didn’t ask for, delete it. You can also ask the person not to send more if you feel comfortable doing so.
Block the person
On social: If they keep sending you sexts (or other unwanted messages) that you don’t want, you can block them. Most social networks have Block and Mute functions.