They might look like they’re just chatting on their mobile phones.
But experts say parents need to pay close attention to their teenagers because they could be sexting — sending lewd messages and pictures via their mobile phones.
Dr Carol Balhetchet, senior director for youth services at the Singapore Children’s Society, recounted a 14-year-old girl who was caught sexting after her mother came across nude pictures on her mobile phone.
Dr Balhetchet told The New Paper: “Her mother said that what she found was graphic and very sexual in nature. She was embarrassed to even show us the pictures and text she had found.
“After much probing, the girl’s cousin, who had access to her Facebook account, let her mother (gain access). What she saw traumatised her.
“There was a whole bunch of sexual messages and pictures that were being sent to the boy. He was 18 and not from her school.”
Such behaviour may be more commonplace than parents want to believe.
To make matters worse, these teenagers are adept at hiding their risque activities from their parents by hiding behind a slew of online acronyms.
Acronyms such as GTN (Got them nudes); HMU (Hit me up); PIR (Parent in room); KPC (Keeping parents clueless); LMIRL /MIRL (Let’s meet in real life / Meet in real life).
“In this era, teens are adamant on going as close to the edge without actually ‘committing the crime’.
“These acts, they feel, make them look bolder, cooler and prop them up in popularity,” Dr Balhetchet said.