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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 180 comments. Post your own!

SamsPhotography said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm:
I've been asked for dirty pictures before, and every single time I've refused to send them. I'm proud to say that I've never "sexted". In my opinion, it's unclassy.
 
audi.elle.29 replied...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm :
A girl in my school sent a sext to her boyfriend, and guess what? Every single person saw it. The male principle, every teacher, everyone!
 
SamsPhotography replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm :
Exactly. Is it really worth it? I know it's "your decision" and "your own choice"..but seriously, think about what your doing before you press send. It could keep you from making a huge mistake.
 
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inksplatters21 said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 8:19 am:
Thank you Howler for that wonderful point.  Also, great article
 
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ErinsGoneCrazy said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm:
Honestly, I think if you're with someone you trust and you  need a way to spice up the relationship, why not? I've done it with two of my boyfriends and it's helped us a lot. Not to mention it's fun. I think if you send something to someone you don't really know, that's asking for it. I waited for three months before I ever started to "sext" my boyfriend. I enjoy it, and I know he does too. And if somehow my pictures or my texts get around, oh well. It was my fault and that way I know that ... (more »)
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm :
I am sorry you feel that way. While of a picture or two of yourself in a pose you think makes you look pretty, or in a new dress, or something of that sort is okay - as long as you're not nude or anything sick like that - sexting is extremely dangerous and very wrong. Do you really have to reveal yourself to your boyfriend in order to entice his love? If he really loves you, he will love with all of your clothes on, and no matter how you look. Sexting is needy and pathetic, and I hope you reconsider.
 
writer-in-pearlsThis 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...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm :
while you may not agree with what she does with her boyfriend, you are in NO position to declare her needy or pathetic. If you oppose sexting, fine, don't sext. That's likely a safer bet, but you have no right to judge her for her decision to do differently. 
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm :
I do not mean to judge her, I am simply saying that I believe what does to be immoral and dangerous. I do not mean to offend, but I think I was right saying what I did.
 
writer-in-pearlsThis 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...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm :
You are more than entiteled to your opinion, and I didn't mean to question that; however, on what grounds are you deeming sexting to be 'immoral'?
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm :
Well, I think revealing yourself inappropriately in anyway is immoral and wrong. To a husband (notice I didn't say boyfriend), of course no, but in public and to strangers? Definitely wrong. It's disgusting. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion and may do what they want - but I know what will make me happy. And shoving my body in other people's faces is not it. 
 
ErinsGoneCrazy replied...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm :
How is sending a picture to my BOYFRIEND sending nudes in public and to a stranger? I feel comfortable enough with myself and with my relationship that doing these things is fun. I enjoy it. It's not that I feel that I HAVE to do it to get my boyfrien's love. I just like to. If I told him I didn't want to, that'd be the end of them. However, I feel that it is my body and my choice. I don't believe that sexting is needy, nor pathetic. It's simply a way to be close while far apart. It helps.
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm :
As I said, you may do what you want - but the things you are describing should really be saved for marriage, and even then, there is something wrong with distorting your body like that. It's spelled P-O-R-N. And that's just wrong. Again, this is your choice, but I fervently believe it is the wrong one.
 
ErinsGoneCrazy replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm :
Why is it so wrong? Just because it's not conventional or the way YOU think things should be? Why should I conform to what you think is normal or right? It's close minded people like you that bring shame to America.
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm :

I'm sorry if I "bring shame to America" but maybe it needs to be shamed. There a lot of things going on in this country that are disgusting, vile, wrong, and I'm not the only person who thinks this way. As I said, you do not what you want, but I assure you that in the end it will not make you happy.

God bless.

 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm :
I meant "you do want you want" by the way. And yes, I stand by my opinion, and I am not standing alone. Please reconsider what you are doing. I am not being close-minded - I understand your point of view - I am simply, for one, being right. And again, God bless you as well as your boyfriend.
 
ErinsGoneCrazy replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm :

No, you're not right. You said yourself it's your opinion, not fact. Way to contradict.

Later.

 
Dragonscribe replied...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm :
Opinion can be fact. I'm tired of arguing - obviously I can not change what you do, nor do I have the right to, but I know I am right. Sorry about all this - I have very strong views and am very religious, which effects some of this. I know you are a good person, I just hope you think about what I have said.
 
DifferentTeen replied...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm :
I've never been able to see sexting as a good thing. But thats because I don't like my body. You are probably confident in yourself right? Thats a good thing. And if you want to send nude pictures of yourself to your boyfriends, well that is your choice. But if you and your boyfriend are that intimate, why not just do it in front of each other? I'd find that more pleasurable. (:
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm :
I ain't not perfect, even when I'm right! : )   : )
 
Dragonscribe replied...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm :
And that was responding to a different comment that Erin wrote but it got mixed up - so sorry DifferentTeen because the above responce probably doesn't make sense to you at all.
 
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