Sexting is being labelled a drug-like addiction for some Kiwi teens, with increasing numbers of young people sending naked photos of themselves.
Sexting, the sending of explicit phone messages, often with naked photos, is now so common that New Zealand parents would struggle to find a teenager who has not been asked to send one, NetSafe has warned. [Netsafe Inc. is a New Zealand registered charity – Reg. No. CC24058].
The head of NetSafe is aware of children as young as 11 sexting, and said suicide was among the most-extreme outcomes.
And the problem comes with a stark warning – images can last online forever, and appear each time the sender’s name is typed into a search engine.
“For some teens, [sexting] has become quite a normal part of dating,” said NetSafe chief technology officer Sean Lyons.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a teen that hasn’t been asked to send a naked or semi-naked photo of themselves in New Zealand.”