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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This article has 185 comments. Post your own now!

aeyana said...
May 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm
this is a great maqazine sextinq is for janks
LittleMissSunshine replied...
May 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm
If your going to use the word jank use it the right way it means bad
Brea_Bloodbath replied...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 7:13 am
DanceAway This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm
I agree with Templar, and I feel bad for the guy who was mentioned at the end. But at the same time, why was he circulating it? Just wondering. But, really good article.
Kara_333 said...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm

i agree with howler also... think about it. would you want your kids seeing that or doing that... we r the next generation and the next generations gunna have kids and adult lives


Templar314 said...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm
Child pornography laws are meant to prevent sexual abuse. Sexting, in contrast, is a conscious desicion. People who do it should not be criminally charged for it - the inherent social consequences of taking such a foolish action should suffice as a deterrent.
DomtheBomb said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm
wow...this is really good. your so rite..people don't know the facts and consequences when it comes to sexting. i can sort of relate..i almost fell into tht trap but caught myself...its a shame tht girls do are beautiful young women who dnt hav to prove your beauty over the phone..let them come and see you face-to-face..have some respect for yourself
emototxxx said...
Apr. 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

nice nice

sexting is so stupid.

Howler said...
Mar. 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm
I hear you, so true feel every word of it. Guys lets be smart we are the next generation!! We have to be role models!
DORA replied...
Apr. 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm
Trinity4not_111 replied...
May 19, 2010 at 7:19 am
the sad thing is that even if we are the next generation, we are going to slip up and mess up. Even if we make the best of it, we're going to sext, we're going to steal, drink, kill, overdose. I don't want to sound pestimistic, and I am not trying to make it sound that we shouldn't try, I am just saying it's an inevitability, we can't hault it altogether. But heck, give it a good try and we'll still be cheered for it. :)
amberglow13 replied...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Well said. We've got to just try our best to stay out of these things and leave whoever got caught in them to their own devices.
Dane.h said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm
Sarbear This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 14, 2010 at 9:59 am
This article is a wake up call for a lot of teens. I think everyone should read this and realize that what they're doing could be way more serious than they realize.
themanof3000 said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm
wow that is nothing but truth. and i think all teens should think twice before hitting the send button
lollipop0452 said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:23 am
yea. i guess its bad enough to get in trouble for datt
XxKathy1111xX said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm
i love your article. even though i dont hate the people who do it i, myself, wouldn't do it. And i wouldn't recommend it for anyone either. thanks for showing people the harm tho.
scooby said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 10:15 am
you should never be sextin because if you do you can be hurting peoples feeling and if you do that to a close friend they will probaly not be your freind anymore...... so do not start sexting and hurting peoples feeling {__}
\ / muffin
(<-_->) kirdby
gdhgf replied...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 10:16 am
robrobrobin11 said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Very nice writing. You sound very informed and you don't dance around the subject. It is a very current issue and we've had big time problems with it in our school. There are so many things about fellow teens, I just can't understand... :-p
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