What's Behind Teens and Online Exposure?

6:59 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It was back to school for students in Richland this week after spring break and news of a social media site posting nude pictures of teenage students.

The Richland County Sheriff's Office says it is still investigating the case.

A spokesman with Richland School District Two says the district heard about what happened last week during spring break and referred it to law enforcement.

Richland Two says it will continue to work with law enforcement for any future steps that need to be taken, still some wonder what could make a teen share private photos of someone else with the world?

"You've got the standard adolescent impulsivity; adolescents tend not to think through things too well. Particularly in situations where there's that immediate peer reinforcement. They may not think of the long term consequences of doing certain things," said USC Psychology associate professor Dr. Bradley Smith. He says that coupled with the increasing availability of new technology help young people get caught up in this type of situation.

"Usually when they do something like this, they weren't thinking. They were just kinda caught up in the moments and that actually related to how adolescents brains are a lot of times they're just able to deal with the here and now the immediate things that are going on are just so captivating that they don't even think about rules or consequences that might be going along with that," said Smith.

He says when it comes to the victims or those affected by this type of action, school becomes an uncomfortable place and situation with peers have the potential to become dangerous.

"It affects their reputation, someone thinks that a girl that had nude pictures of herself out there is somehow easier and they may not respect her wishes and that could lead to some pretty bad situations," he said.

Smith says the experience can hurt the formation of a child's standing and place in the community as well.

"It could really dismantle their social support system and make it hard for them to be in their school be in their community or their church...all those important social connections could really be undermined through this type of experience," said Smith.

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