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

September 15, 2009
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 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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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 »)
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.


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.
reba137 said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm
a while ago my friend asked for sum pics and when i sed no he tried saying hed pay me 5 then 10 the even 20 bucks then a few days later his dad calld me and even though i had no reson to be i was scared
Dragonscribe replied...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:26 pm
I think you had plenty of reason to be scared. I don't your friend is acting like I friend at all.
amberglow13 replied...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm
I agree. Are you sure this person is your friend. I would avoid them.
lovelybublygirl said...
Aug. 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm
i wish i had read this article about a month ago. i'd always known about "sexting" and what it is, but i never really realized the consequences. reading about how pressing 'send' takes away your control over the situation scares me the most. anyone reading this should know that this whole 'sexting' thing is NOT a risk worth taking
LovesForgotenChild said...
Aug. 12, 2010 at 12:09 am
truth be told im on probation cuz of my EX-bff who sent her crush who hated her a nude pic of herself he sent it to all his contacts and i was one of 'em and all of us were called to the office and taken to the police station and had our fones confiscated  it is not fun to have to sit cuffed in a cop car i am now expecting about 3 months in ala and another 3 months in iss all thanks to my EX-bff. and the moral being before u do something stupid like sexting think about who u could affect.
Chimerical said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

My parents are really paranoid about sexting... I got a text that said "I love you babe" and my cellphone got taken away...

Really good article btw =)

Sweethearrt said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm
*side note* sexting does not allways have to include pics or videos. it can be with words, too.
xxzoE said...
Jul. 5, 2010 at 5:20 am

One: that is beautifully written, well done.

Two: you are extremely right. There was a girl at my school who sent a video of her (lets say, having fun on her own) and it was sent all over the school, myself not included, the police were involved and her parents- naturally. Before you press send think about your parents seeing what you are sending. 

jschara94 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm
I completely agree with you.  I feel we should focus more on the child abuse and rape that is taking place across the world.  Those who are intentionally putting their bodies out there for the world to see should be left to their own consequences.
Eilina S. said...
Jun. 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Good argument there. You're right, "sexting" is becoming a major issue within developing countries. I think it's something to do with the loss of culture. In places like Germany and Denmark where Nordic/Gaulish metal and beer are the major issues among youths, "sexting" is almost unheard of. I understand that English culture has been all but eradicated due to historical invasions and settlings, and America took off with the worst of that brunt and turned it into somewhat of an interesting new... (more »)

rose58 said...
May 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm
wow, you did a real good job in writting the article. it has alot of detail. congrats for it being publish in the teen ink magazine. its interesting and well written
Thinker said...
May 19, 2010 at 10:50 am
I just wonder if it is any different than those who have explicid pictures published by any other media. For example there are provolkative magizines that publish these things to the world, what's the difference?
treegirl93 replied...
May 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm
I know a few girls at my school have done this and although the teachers never found out there reputations were forever down the drain.
sportsgal replied...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm
treegirl93, so have some people they know. their reps wern't ruined but they are humillitate by the high schooler the sexted almost everyday. But reps can change quite fast. Although my school takes sexting jokingly it can turn out bad for them if the sext the wroung people. I proudly can say I Have Never Sexted. Though have recied them but ignored them
groovacious said...
May 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm
insightful post, i will NEVER sext, it's waaaay too risky, plus it's so not my thing.
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