Teens can get hooked on inappropriate and illegal activities on the internet


Tyler Stone

SHS Senior Oshun Seeratan Is asked for nudes and is shocked by the question.

Tyler Stone, Staff Writer

In 2019 we live in a world with incredibly advanced technology, yet the internet can be a dangerous place to explore, especially for teenagers.

Social media adds another layer of stress to a student’s life as they try and fit in; however, not everything on social media is as glamorous as it seems. There is pressure on teens to project a picture-perfect image even when they may be going through a time of sadness.  They feel compelled to put on a fake face, of sorts.

This adds another layer of stress and anxiety to teens’ lives as they want to fit in with their peers. Many teens and adults can form a social media obsession so severe that they become so anxious they can’t even check their social media accounts.

Social Media Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition that is similar to social anxiety disorder. A person with this disorder has an intense fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.

Obviously, social media does have a lot of good aspects.  It can allow students to connect with friends and families, as well as make new connections. However, there are also many negatives that come with social media. Two very serious examples of this include catfishing and sending nudes.

Catfishing is the act of luring someone into a relationship with a fake persona. The catfish is usually looking to target a victim for mental and emotional abuse, deception or fraud. This leaves the victim hurt and feeling used as they had put a ton of trust in that person.

The term catfishing really started after the release of the hit MTV show Catfish. On the show, hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph try to help those who believe that they are being catfished. It appears as though there are more cases of this than ever.

Catfishing doesn’t always have to be in a relationship either. It could be one friend simply lying to another friend. Being catfished is emotionally traumatizing to all those who have had it happen to them. A person puts all this trust in another person only to learn that the other person has been lying the entire time.

Another serious topic that is more and more common on the internet is the act of “Sending nudes.” When someone asks another person on the internet for nudes, the requester is actually asking for explicit photos.  This not only puts pressure on a teen, but it is actually illegal.

“Our first step that we take when are alerted about an explicit photo leak is to identify who is in that photo,” stated Mr. Robert Cohowicz, SASD Resource Officer. “From there, if the person in the photo is under 18, we start issuing search warrants to find out from where and who leaked the photo.”

If a student receives unwanted nudes, the best thing to do is let an adult know and then delete all traces of them. If a student has sent nudes, the best option is ask to have them returned and to delete them.  If that does not work, then an authority should be notified.

”If the photo is dealing with someone under 18 then charges of child pornography will follow through once we get a suspect,” said Cohowicz.

It may surprise people to know that if they are caught with illicit photos of a minor on one of their devices, even if the owner of the device is a minor, they will be charged with possession of child pornography.  That could lead to further legal ramifications.

So is it really worth it?

”I don’t really see the point of sending nudes,” said senior Oshun Seerattan. “You’re ultimately setting yourself up for failure. If someone really cares about you that much, they won’t try to pressure you into doing that.”

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