The information on this page is meant for a variety of youth and abilities. Some youth may be able to look at this material on their own. Others may need the help of a trusted adult.

Social Media

Do you have a tablet, laptop or phone? Even if you don’t, you might look at the devices your siblings or friends use. It can be fun to watch videos and look at photos and posts with a friend.

Websites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Snapchat are SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media can be a useful tool for communicating with your friends and family. But there are also some risks.

Social media can be fun, including using emojis. What do they all mean? Watch the video ‘What are they Saying’ to learn about some emojis people might use for social media.
 
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Safety Rules

Here are some rules to keep you and others safe while using social media.

  • When you post something online, it’s not private. Some apps can show others where you are (your location), which might not be safe. Ask an adult to help you set privacy settings to keep you safe while you use social media.

  • Passwords are private, don’t share them with your friends. Sometimes parents or another trusted adult can help you set up your passwords so that your information stays protected.

  • Once you send something, you can’t get it back. Think carefully before you post something. Is it something that could embarrass you, your family, or your friends? Take some time to ‘think before you click’.

  • Some people will say things online that they wouldn’t say to someone in real life. These things are often mean or embarrassing. This is not healthy communication.

  • You can’t know if what you read or see online is true. How do you know that the new friend you made is really 15 years old? They might actually be an adult who is 50 years old, using social media to find out information about you.

  • Sharing photos can be fun. But be sure to get permission before you share photos. Sending naked photos can be against the law and get you into trouble.

  • If something happens on social media that makes you uncomfortable, talk to an adult you trust. You never have to reply to someone on social media.

Question Box

I’ve met a new person online and they want to meet me. Is this OK?

This person is still a stranger who you can’t trust. They may be trying to trick you by lying about who they really are online, by saying nice things and making up stories. This is sometimes call ‘catfishing’. If you are worried that someone is trying to trick you, tell an adult you trust.

Porn (pornography)

Porn is pictures or videos that show naked people or sexual fantasies. Some people watch porn to learn about their sexuality. Sometimes people masturbate while watching porn.

Real sex doesn’t feel how sex in porn looks. Porn is about showing sexual fantasies with actors, scripts, special make up and computer editing. In real life, sex is about physically interacting with other people, with all of the fun and sometimes awkwardness of any relationship.

Like all media, porn doesn’t show real people’s sex experiences. Sometimes it shows unsafe sex, bodies or relationships. This might give people unclear ideas about sex.  It might also make them feel bad about sex, their bodies or relationships. In real life, if people did the activities, there could be damage to relationships and self-esteem. It might also put them at risk for STI (sexually transmitted infections), unintended pregnancy, sexual assault charges, and injury. Some porn is illegal and doing what is seen in it would also be illegal.

Question Box

Is Hentai, porn?

Yes, Hentai, anime porn or manga porn are types of animated porn based on the style, characters or stories from anime or manga. As they are using animation, they can show much more unrealistic sex, bodies and relationships.

Safety Tips

  • Watching porn is a choice.
  • No one can make you look at porn on a phone, computer or in a magazine.
  • You should never pressure anyone to watch porn.
  • Watching pornography should always be done in private – not on the bus, at school or at work.
  • If pornography is making you feel bad, you should talk to someone you trust.
Watch the video ‘Staying safe online’ to check what you know about using social media
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Sexting

Sexting is when people send or receive sexual pictures, messages, or videos by cell phone or other wi-fi devices. Sexting is one way to communicate in a sexual relationship and explore sexuality.

‘Nudes’ are naked pictures of someone. Never assume sexts will stay private or are temporary. In Canada, sexting can be considered porn, especially if it contains images or videos. It’s illegal: 

  • for anyone under 18 to view/access/make/possess any porn
  • to have, share or view porn if it shows people under 18
  • to share someone’s sexual image without their consent
  • to show someone a sexual image without their consent
Watch the video ‘Receiving a Sext’ to learn what Sam does when they are asked to sext with Charlie.
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Question Box

What do I do if my boyfriend shows my nude to his friends?

In Canada, it’s against the law to share a sexual picture of someone without their consent. This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Some people don’t realize that sharing sexts that weren’t for others could be considered cyberbullying or could be against the law. Depending on the situation, you can ask your boyfriend and their friends to stop sharing and delete the images. It’s also a good idea to  talk to a trusted adult or contact the police.

If you have questions about social media, sexting, or pornography, contact https://kidshelpphone.ca/