As Addicting As A Drug This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 23, 2010
By , Montour Falls, NY
It’s as addicting as a drug. The praise makes you feel like you’re high. It’s so risky, you feel rebellious and untouchable. Only problem is? You’re not.
When Maggie was 14, she made a life-changing decision. She broke up with her first boyfriend (you know, the guy who is sweet and loves his family, the kind your mom wants you to marry) so she could date someone she stole from her best friend.
Kyle was a “bad boy,” and that was a turn-on.
He smoked and did drugs. He drank on occasion, and had lost his virginity years ago. He was older than her by a little more than a year, and she was in love.
One day, while playing a game of truth or dare, Kyle asked Maggie if she would ever consider sending racy pictures of herself to him. This act, also called sexting, is illegal for anyone under the age of 18.
Maggie was a “good girl.” She never broke the law, and intended on keeping it that way. She laughed as if his question had been a joke, and said no.
The question sat heavy in Maggie’s heart. She didn’t want to lose this cool, older boyfriend. And of course, she wanted to seem mature herself.
A couple weeks later when Maggie was getting dressed for school, she looked in the mirror at her naked body. “I’m so ugly!” she thought, “Why would anyone want to see my like this?”
She decided to ask Kyle that same question. He told her he wanted to see her nude because she was beautiful, but he was only guessing. He didn’t know if she was beautiful or not because he hadn’t seen under her clothes before.
That night, Maggie’s mom was running late from work, and Maggie was home alone. She opened up her camera phone, took her shirt off, and began snapping pictures.
Sexting became an art form. It was a challenge to take the picture just right; to get the maximum amount of chest, and the minimum amount of her other curves.
She sent the pictures to him, and received some back. Kyle was thrilled. He told her how she was the prettiest girl in the world and that he loved her even more. He told her he wanted to see her like that someday, and she agreed.
Eventually Kyle’s affection was wonderful, but not enough. Word spread of what Maggie had been doing, and soon enough she was exchanging pictures with at least three other boys.
Life was great, she was feeling rebellious, the boys were assuring her they weren’t saving the pictures, and she felt loved.
That is, until one day, Kyle stopped talking to her. Around the same time, rumors and names started flying through school. Something was severely wrong. Maggie called Kyle’s house, only to discover his mother on the other end of the phone calling her “disgusting” and telling her to “never have contact with her son again.”
Three days later, sitting in French class, the phone rang. It was Maggie’s principal, and she was being reported to the office.
She stepped into the dark, square little room, panicked. “You’re not in trouble,” her principal said, shutting the door behind him. “We just want to talk to you.”
Sitting at a table on the far side of the room was a police officer. Maggie had to sit between them for what seemed to be hours, answering questions about Kyle and the sexting.
A teacher had taken his phone and went through it, finding racy pictures that he had assured Maggie he had not saved. He then had to talk to the police as well, and released her name.
The police told Maggie she was off the hook as long as she stopped, and told her parents. He then scared her by telling her that colleges look through background messages to see if anything like this has happened before, and that if she were ever to run for president, the world would certainly find out.
The next weekend she wrote her mother a letter, leading to a “family meeting.” Maggie was not punished, but was to never send another picture again.
This was hard. Taking pictures was so addicting. She found herself still grabbing her camera when undressing, but never did send the pictures to anyone.
Maggie was lucky. She still is criticized at school, but she has learned to ignore the pain. The experience made her stronger. She started cutting when times were bad, she became depressed and suicidal, but she made it through.
Many teenagers have died due to sexting incidents.
It has been a year since her last picture was sent and Maggie is back with Kyle. They are in love, but for different reasons. Sometimes they still sext with words, but never with pictures.
Maggie claims sexting is a drug, and now advises many peers to stand up for themselves and take a higher road.
She hopes that one day everyone can receive praise without having to show others what was not meant for their eyes, and for their phones.

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Tigeress Cub said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm
I understand your story. Thanks for writing it...
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