Should 8 years olds have cell phones?

According to the Daily (United Kingdom) (September 17,2015) an eight-year old girl uploaded sexually explicit video of herself on to the Internet according to police. A 12-year-old boy also sent naked snapshots of himself to a 13-year-old-girl. And a 15-year-old girl sent explicit messages to an 18-year-old man.

 Many children see sexting as harmless fun, but it is illegal and can leave young people vulnerable to blackmail or attract the attention of sex offenders. Children can send sexual images of themselves in an instant. They often don’t really think about the consequences.

They send these pictures to a girlfriend or boyfriend but these images can quickly end up being shared widely in school and online. Depending on the country, sending naked pictures of children below the age of consent (generally 18) are subject to imprisonment.

We need to try to avoid criminalizing children wherever possible and aim to educate them (and their parents) in order in order to protect them from harm.