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Sexting: Know the Facts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


High-tech has created a new low. The term “sexting” is a combination of the words sex and texting, and refers to the practice of sending sexually ­explicit photos electronically, mainly by cell phone. The incidents of sexting have dramatically increased in the past few years; 20 percent of teens said they had sent a sexting message, according to a 2008 study commissioned by the National ­Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com. Though many in our generation are taking part, few understand the serious consequences of this irresponsible fad.

Recent advances in technology have revolutionized the way we interact socially. Cell phones and e-mail have changed the way we communicate but have led to dangerous and ­destructive behavior. While some teens may think sexting is fun or harmless, this new craze can have devastating consequences. When a photo or video is sent to another person, privacy is lost forever. The content can be broadcast to anyone. The original sender has no control once he or she presses “send.”

The consequences of sexting can be ­severe, ranging from embarrassment to ­imprisonment or worse. Explicit photos or videos forwarded from person to person can cause embarrassment for the original sender. Many teens don’t realize that once they hit “send,” control of who else sees that compromising photo is now completely up to the recipient. You may think you know your friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend, but can you trust them forever?

Many young people who thought sexting was a harmless game ended up having their lives destroyed. In one tragic incident, Jesse Logan, an 18-year-old from Ohio, was mercilessly humiliated after explicit photos she had sexted to a boyfriend ended up circulating among her peers. She eventually killed herself.

Imagine being convicted of the crime of child pornography and serving five year’s probation. You are rejected by colleges, lose your friends, and have to move because your home is too close to a school. You’re unable to get a job, and you have to register as a sex ­offender until you are 43. That’s exactly what happened to Phillip Alpert, a Florida 18-year-old. He ruined his life by circulating nude pictures of his girlfriend (which she had sent him), by texting them to his friends, her friends, and her family. The legal problem: she was only 16 and a minor; distributing explicit photos of a minor constitutes child pornography. The real problem: like many teenagers, he did not understand the long-term consequences of his actions.

Sexting may seem like harmless fun, but teens should think twice before hitting the “send” button. There is no turning back once a message is sent.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 179 comments. Post your own!

pulledheartstring said...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 2:14 am:
A good informative article, although most people don't really research on things before doing them, if they are that careless/clueless.
 
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Westsider said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm:
Sexting is kind off limits to teenagers especially. That should only be happening among serious adult relationships. Also married couples. I’m saying that because they are more secrete about it and more responsible and a lil more respectable.
 
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Natalie12 said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm:
I think that all of this is very true. I believe that sexting is completely wrong on either genders behalf. Either way I believe that a kid should know what they getting themselves into when they send a naked picture of themself. You shouldn't really trust anyone with anything about your privacy.
 
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TaylorJade said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm:
I didn't see that comment until just now. Haha. (: But you are right. It is.. If only people could see that.
 
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purplepanda11123 said...
Feb. 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm:
u spelled article wrong
 
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BadGirl said...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm:
I would never send something like that to anyone!!! That's so embarrassing!!! No one should send something like that to anyone!!!
 
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TaylorJade said...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm:
When you send pics of yourself to someone and they somehow get sent to other people, guys seem to automatically think that other girls will do it too when they won't. And it makes other girls look bad or look like a prude, when really they just respect themself too much to risk a personal picture to go viral... So, that's how. And it may not be that way where ever you are, but that's how it is here.
 
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muna.najihah said...
Nov. 14, 2011 at 5:17 am:
VERY TRUE. I strongly believe that this fact can really cause a severe effect on one's future. it is undeniable that this is still going on in our daily life of people around us. I just wish after they read your article, they realize just how bad it is to sexting
 
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TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 30, 2011 at 1:27 am:
I totally agree with you !
 
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TheIntellectualOne said...
Oct. 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm:
very informative, and a moving short story to support this issue, and the stance you have taken. B+
 
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jaylw said...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm:
good job, you should check out my artical on sexting, its diffrent but its importand share with friends if you want to get the point accross
 
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alwaysbrokenhearted said...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm:
There's this girl i know that sent nude pictures of herself, and now she's not aloud to break up with him or else he'll send the pictures to her parents and all her friends. Now she doesn't have a real life. And people have told her boyfriend that she was cheating on him just to watch her get in trouble. It's horrible!
 
sarahmichelle98 replied...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm :
someone should sneak his phone when hes not there and then delete the pictures
 
Jazzyjaz12 replied...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 11:26 am :
that's horrible!!!!!
 
Zazawish777This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 25, 2011 at 10:53 am :
But Police and others can still retrieve it even if its been deleted. Once you hit "send" its out there forever. But i would break his phone though...
 
maeugeniap replied...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm :

I'm so sorry that happened to your friend. I hope she's learned the lesson and never does that again (NEVER). Hang over some day together and think of a plan. You could sneak in his house, or when he goes to the bathroom, take his phone from the table, and delete the photos. You could also tell him what you feel and ask him why is he doind this and what does he feel. 

But I believe the best you could do is for herself tell her parents and friends the truth: "I took some nasty phot... (more »)

 
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Freedom.ThroughPensThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm:
Sexting might be wrong in some people's eyes, but ultimately, the person actually doing the sexting is the one responsible. Therefore, I'm a firm believer in letting the teen figure out their mistake on their own. 
 
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm :
True, that have to face the consequences for everything they have done.
 
RAhR replied...
Jan. 9, 2012 at 9:58 am :
I agree because if the person sending the photos knows the cons. and still decides to do it, then it's on THEIR own free-will to and it's on them. They should only recieve ounid=shment from their parents if by anyone, NOT the gov. It's just too private of a 'subject' for them to get involved in.
 
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sexysusan said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm:
i believe that sexting is wrong but people should do what they want they'll have to get there consiquences
 
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