Is Sexting merely the current fad of the 2000’s as some people seem to think? They compare it with fads of old like telephone booth stuffing, college panty raids, streaking, Disco, Pogs, or reality TV to name a few, but believe me, Texting is not a harmless passing fad. It a dangerous sign of the technological age we are living in and parents need to be aware of its potential for disaster.
The act of texting is a simple and often useful way to of sending a typed message between cell phones. It comes in quite handy when you’re on the go and don’t have the time to make a phone call. Sexting, on the other hand, takes the text and adds a new element to it, sending sexually explicit messages which usually include nude or suggestive photos. The word itself is a blending of the two words sex and texting. Cute huh?
We have all seen the extent of the damage that sexting can cause. Consider the recent case of Anthony Wiener caught up in a sexting affair and pressured to resign from office. An adult caught up in what has been referred to as a teen craze. In a 2009 nationwide study 20 per cent of teens admitted to participating in sexting. I can only wonder what that percentage is today, 35 %? 40? 50? A smaller study done on a college campus revealed that 67% of the students admitted to sending sexually explicit text messages, 78% reported receiving sexually explicit messages and 56% report that they had receive sexually explicit images.
I tell you, this sexting thing is a runaway train. Teens today, boys and girls alike, have become so bold and brazen that sending a nude or suggestive photo of themselves to a member of the opposite sex is no big deal. Hell, when I was a teenager it was nerve-racking just trying to keep a conversation with a girl going or to pass her a handwritten note, now all you have to do is a little text n’ sext and you’re in.
Call me old-fashioned, but this whole sexting thing needs to be stopped. The dangers far outweigh the cheap thrills. Come on parents wake up! Your kids are doing nasty things with their cell phones. They are not the sweet little innocents you believe them to be when they’re playing with their phones. Let me tell you LOL, UG2BK, BRB, CYM, XOXO or BFF, are not the only cute little acronyms they are using. How about TTA (tap that ass) WYFM (would you f#*K me) i&i (intercourse & inebriation ) NEED8! (self-explanatory) and on and on, many a lot worse than these. These are the acronyms they’re using.
Not only is this sexting practice vulgar, crude and dangerous. Attaching nude or suggestive photos is insanity! These photos are not PRIVATE and could wind up anywhere. The pics they send to boyfriends, friend or the star quarterback could be forwarded and wind up on the cell phones of the entire team or worse yet the internet. Someone who has it out for them may even forward the photos to school administrators, police or God forbid, their parents! This has happened! Students have been punished in school for this practice by being banned from sports or other activities, suspension and yes even expulsion. Other teens have been charged with child pornography for sending and/or receiving photos. This is no joke, this is a serious felony. If charged and found guilty a person over 18 could receive prison time. Some states have passed laws that would allow even teen offenders to be charged with child pornography. More states will likely follow.
Although criminal charges are rare, those fun photos could easily come back to haunt the teens when they go to apply for college or their first job. The humiliation factor alone is incredible, and the fun they’re having today could come back and haunt them for years to come. This fad has spread like wildfire Kids have little problem getting naked and snapping away. Samples of sexting photos can be found on the internet, a simple Google search and you’re there. The samples I saw were extremely provocative and looked more like they belonged between the covers of Penthouse or Hustler.
So parents be forewarned, kids are treating sexting like we used to treat passing notes. Even the most unlikely teens could be caught in the texting web, peer pressure has never gone away. Work with your children, instruct them on the destructive nature of sexting and the long-term consequences if they are caught. Have open and honest communications with them. Yes, my friends teach your children, teach them well…