Sexting – or sending nude or partially nude images through cell phone – is a new craze that is driving parents wild. Here on Turned On, we wanted to think about this and if it is an issue. The main concern with “sexting” is that high schoolers and middle schoolers, who have not yet reached the legal age of consent are sending these pictures of themselves, or forwarding them, leading to sex offender and child pornography charges. But in college, that is not the issue. Sexting can carry many benefits for those who are of age.
First, you can connect with your significant other when away from each other. Sexting allows you to send pictures of your body, parts or yourself in your favorite position helping your loved one get off while thinking about you. It also is an intriguing way of flirting and turning the other person on.
BUT there are some negative consequences that may be associated. The most relevant for us, is taking pictures of yourself and sending them to others is a semi-permanent thing. If you take a picture and the other person has that stored on their phone, it will last until they delete it. An issue may arise if friends or family go through their phone and look at their messages. Also, people can instantly forward these pictures to anyone else, losing all privacy.
This has been the issue concerning parents. Not only for younger children is it illegal (and these younger children learn from their cooler older siblings like us), but this lack of privacy and embarrassment associated with it has also lead to problems. In fact, a girl, Jessica Logan, hanged herself after her nude pictures meant only for her boyfriend were sent to hundreds of people in her high school, leading to vicious taunting. An estimated 22 percent of teenagers engage in sexting.
Talkback – What do you think? Is sexting bad, or is it just a harmless way to share pictures with a significant other? Should there be such extreme punishments for teenagers engaging in it?