Teen Sexting

*Giving credit to IMNOOB71, one of my classmates, for mentioning sexting in a recent post and inspiring me to create this one.*

 

Random studies will tell us that one in five Americans are chronically late , urinate in the pool or believe in witches. You can easily fact-check these miscellaneous statistics on your mobile phone – of which, one in five  American teens use to “sext” with.

From beepers to BBM, there’s no doubt that mobile technologies have helped teens experiment with social skills. But, has it been for the right reasons?

Defined by Merriam Webster , sexting is “the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phones.” Not-so-ironically, the term was first coined in 2007, when the camera application was born.

As flip phones evolved into minicomputers and more teens took ownership, youth sexuality progressed from innocence to scandal in the face of technology. With 78 percent of teens owning a cell phone and using it incessantly [or so it seems], we now know what the fuss may be about.

Not only have 20 percent experimented with sexting, but 20 percent of this number has sent semi-nude or nude photos or video of themselves. To put this into perspective, for every 1,000 teenagers, there are explicit photos/videos of 40 different people, floating around.

And teens are overlooking that these photos don’t disappear, but rather, will wind up online or on mobile applications such as Instagram, and enter cell phone company databases for the duration of history.

Sexting is a moral problem, but it has now become a legal concern as well. Over recent years, sexting has triggered numerous suicides and humiliation by students who were victimized, mostly by a trusted significant other. To crack down on such situations, law enforcement created two categories to classify sexting misconduct.

First, the law questions whether the photo, video or communication itself is legal, which is intended to protect minors or harassment cases. Second, the use of technology to obtain and/or distribute the explicit content is questioned. The FBI provides the example of a school computer as an illegal device used.

Even though the law is taking action, this action simply isn’t enough. The sexting frenzy has brought awareness to schools, parents, the law and merchandise alike. Products allowing parents to monitor their child’s texts are now available. But, is this really the answer or, is there a better method to combat sexting?

As technology progresses, the open avenues to communication will only increase. Awareness and parental monitoring simply aren’t enough anymore.

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6 comments
  1. Escapist Theory,
    This was a great post and I’m glad Noob inspired you to write it. It seems like many adults today don’t realize that suggestive pics and video are permanent either. Even if I wasn’t considered a public figure, I would NEVER do that because it’s too dangerous. I think the apps that allow parents to check in on their kid’s activity is great, but there needs to be some actual ‘parenting’ going on as well. The birds and bees talk shouldn’t be the only one to have these days. The stats and implications are scary. Could you imagine your kid finding a pic of you online in 20 years from now? How would you begin to explain that? Great job 🙂

    Random studies [will] tell us that one in five Americans are chronically late , urinate in the pool or believe in witches. (GREAT opening! LOL) You can easily fact-check these miscellaneous statistics on your mobile phone – [of which] (Start a new sentence here, it’s a bit awkward. Maybe something like, “Another random study shows that”), one in five American teens use to “sext” with.

    From beepers to BBM (what is this?), there’s no doubt that mobile technologies have helped teens experiment with social skills. But, has it been for the right reasons?

    Defined by Merriam Webster , sexting is “the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phones.” Not-so-ironically, the term was first coined in 2007, when the camera application was born. (I like this)

    As flip phones evolved into minicomputers and more teens took ownership, [youth] sexuality (in youth has) progressed from innocence to scandal(ous) [in the face of technology]. [With 78] (Seventy-eight) percent of teens own[ing] a cell phone and using [it] (them) incessantly [or so it seems], (Start a new sentence here) we now know what the fuss may be about.

    Not only have 20 percent experimented with sexting, but 20 percent of this number has sent [semi-nude or nude] (provocative and nude) photos or video of themselves. To put this into perspective, for every 1,000 teenagers, there are explicit photos/videos of 40 [different people], (just) floating around.

    And teens [are overlooking] (don’t realize) that these photos [don’t disappear] (are permanent) (Start a new sentence here with something like, “They will likely wind up…”), but rather, will wind up online or on mobile applications [such as] (like) Instagram, (Start a new sentence here. “They are even stored on cell phone company’s…”) and enter cell phone company databases for the duration of history.

    Sexting is a moral problem,(start a new sentence here with “But”.) but it [has now become] (is also) a legal concern as well. [Over recent years] (Recently), sexting has triggered numerous suicides and humiliation by students who were victimized, (Start new sentence here with something like, “The victims rarely see this coming because they’re unleashed by the people they trusted the most – their significant other.”) mostly by a trusted significant other. To crack down on such situations, law enforcement created two categories to classify sexting misconduct.(:)

    First, the law questions whether the photo, video or communication itself is legal, (Start new sentence here with “This is intended”) which is intended to protect minors [or] (and used in) harassment cases. Second, the use of technology to obtain and/or distribute the explicit content [is questioned] (comes into question). The FBI [provides the example of] (considers) a school computer as an illegal device used.

    Even though the law is taking action, this [action simply] isn’t enough. The sexting frenzy has brought awareness to schools, parents, [the law and merchandise alike] (and law enforcement). Products allowing parents to monitor their child’s [texts] (mobile activity is) [are] now available. But, is this really the answer(?) (New sentence) or, is there a better method to combat sexting?

    As technology progresses, the open avenues to communication will [only] (continue to) increase. Awareness and parental monitoring [simply aren’t] (are no longer) enough [anymore].

    • Thanks again, as always, for the great feedback! I’m glad you share similar thoughts in terms of sexting and teens.

      BBM is something that Blackberries use to text. It’s like direct messaging but faster – I believe? Never have been a user myself.

      I really like the corrections you’ve made on this post. You’ve really focused in on where several words could be replaced with just a few. Thank you so much! Also just a note, in one of the above paragraphs I gave the statistic of “78 percent” and I wrote it as a numeral due to AP style. I’m not sure if everyone is structuring their blogs in AP style but I’ve been formatting it this way. Just to clarify! Thanks again 🙂

      • Thanks for explaining BBM and the AP style of writing numbers. I keep forgetting about that because my brain was programmed a long time ago to spell them out for news purposes. There’s still things I catch myself doing that’s outdated. Don’t be shy to let me know about things like this throughout the rest of the course. I really appreciate it.

      • Of course. Glad I can help!

  2. Hi Escapist,

    I am so happy to hear that I inspired you to write this. It is an amazing piece and very informative, I will not delve into all that needs to be reworked since alix has done that. I would however like to add a couple of notes—the ending seemed somewhat abrupt. I felt like there could have been more to aid the reader in stopping their teen from sexting—you offered many of the problems rampant with sexting, but not so much what is being done or can be done to curb sexting. Likewise, I wondered if there was any impact on these teen’s future when they went out into the workforce and their image surfaced barring them from getting a job. Was there any info on that? Just some thoughts. Great work! I really liked how you broke up the paragraphs into easy to read bits and stuck to one point throughout. Amazing progression throughout. I was thoroughly engaged.

    • Thanks for the feedback! In my rewrite, I’ll be sure to include information about the implication on teens’ futures. With the internet world, there are certainly detrimental consequences that can result from such a decision.

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