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The Social Repercussions of Teens Sending Nudes

The Bark Team  |  March 16, 2023

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In today's digital age, sending and receiving nudes has become increasingly common among teenagers. Apps like Snapchat, which are designed to make sent images “disappear” after viewing, may make sending nudes seem harmless and even exciting or empowering at the moment. But once pictures are sent out, they rarely just “disappear.” 

The social repercussions of teens sending nudes can have a lasting impact on their future. In this article, we will explore the dangers of sending nudes and how to have an open conversation with your teen about this sensitive topic.

The Social Repercussions of Sending Nudes

Sending nudes can have serious social repercussions that can follow teenagers for years to come. Here are some of the most important things to consider and mention when talking with your teen:

  1. Legal Consequences: Depending on the age of the sender and the receiver, sending nudes can be considered child pornography and result in criminal charges.
  2. Reputation Damage: Once a nude is sent, the sender loses control over who sees it and where it ends up. It can easily be forwarded or shared without their consent, leading to rumors, bullying and damaged relationships.
  3. Emotional Distress: Teenagers are still developing emotionally, and the fallout from sending nudes can negatively affect their self-esteem, mental health and relationships.
  4. Job and College Applications: College admission officers and employers often search social media and the internet for information about applicants. Inappropriate photos can be a red flag that may cost them an opportunity.
  5. Cyberbullying: Sending nudes can make teenagers vulnerable to cyberbullying, harassment, and even blackmail by individuals who may seek to exploit them.

How to Talk to Your Teen About the Dangers of Sending Nudes

Talking to your teen about sending nudes can be an awkward conversation, but it's important to have. Here are some tips on how to approach the topic in a sensitive and safe way:

  1. Start with empathy: Acknowledge that it's not always easy to navigate the complexities of social media and relationships as a teenager. In many ways, the world of teen dating and the expectations that go along with it are radically different than they were even 10 years ago. 
  2. Explain the risks: Use concrete examples and discuss the potential consequences of sending nudes. Reference some of the dangers of sending nudes above and talk with your teen about how photos that are shared, even in trusting relationships, can find their way out into the world.
  3. Offer alternative solutions: Encourage your teen to find other ways to express their feelings and connect with others. While nude photos may be a “popular” way of showing love for someone, ask them what other creative ways they could show their devotion. Point out the many unique and meaningful ways they can connect with their peers or partner in a way that is safe for all parties. 
  4. Create a safe space: Let your teen know that they can always come to you for help or advice without judgment. If your teen may feel more comfortable talking with a sibling or friend about the topic, speak with them about ways they can guide your teen through potential problems.
  5. Set clear boundaries: Establish family rules around technology and online behavior, and make sure your teen understands them. This may include restrictions or limits on specific apps, something Bark can help you set up.

Sending nudes may seem like a harmless and exciting way for teenagers to connect, but the social repercussions of doing so can be severe and long-lasting. By understanding the risks and having an empathetic and open conversation with your teen, you can help them make informed decisions and protect themselves from the potential consequences of sending nudes.

Bark is Here to Help

While Snapchat remains one of the most popular apps for sending nudes, parents currently have no way to monitor what happens in the app on iPhones and can only monitor messages on Andriod through Bark. 

Bark's blocking and screen time tools do, however, allow parents to manage when—and even if—kids are allowed to use Snapchat. You’ll also receive an alert if your child creates a Snapchat account or downloads the app, so you can stay in the know about what’s going on in their digital world. Bark’s award-winning service also enables you to monitor for sexual content in your child’s texts, email, YouTube account and 30+ of the most popular social media platforms and apps. Learn more about how Bark is dedicated to keeping your child safe, and sign up for a free trial here.

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

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