Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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.




Join the Discussion


This article has 180 comments. Post your own!

acousticalex This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm:
I don't often say this about anything, but it is pretty much almost always a bad idea to send someone a nude photo. I can't tell you how many times friends and I have laughed over one of us receiving an inappropriate picture, and sadly it's usually from someone we hardly know! It's a teenage cry for attention and acceptance and to be told they are sexy like they see on television. Just a walking cliche, and a terrible idea, unless you completely trust the person you send it... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
HauntedDancer123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 9:01 am:
Wow! This is kind of scary. I'll never do this! Thanks for writing this. It was a great article
 
WriterA.M. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm :
Sexting may seem like harmless fun? Only for the people who do it I guess. Any thinking person should know that it is immoral in every way imaginable. Goodness, what has our world come to?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Hannahnanna said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 1:18 am:
This is a very well written article, and extremely important today. I participate in Youth/Peer court and we had a case about sexting. It was awhile ago, but from what I remember, they were only about 14 years old.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
YOLANDRi said...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm:
Amazing article. I wrote a short piece about sexting for New Youth Connections. It was mostly a personal piece. Your article is great. Kudos!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Schubster said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm:
?I don't get the post under me, but ok....otherwise, fantastic piece of work. teens are truly out of their minds (more than usual) and skimpy nowadays...
 
NothingCanProvokeFearButFearItselfThis 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...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 10:34 am :
basically hes saying you prolly never got a sexting picture......they r bad
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
samuraijack14 said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm:
You all never got a picture
 
OscarDonovan replied...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 3:52 am :
Love this guy.
 
EvanRose replied...
Feb. 16, 2010 at 2:22 am :
LOL! yeah for real
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
mynetshepherd said...
Sept. 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm:
Right On!! Parents must protect their kids from the dangers of the net, cell phones, etc. visit www.mynetshepherd.com
 
NaddyCastenda replied...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm :
This article is true, I love it, and the fact that its telling the straight up truth about the consequences And what could happen if you send things like that
 
NaddyCastenda replied...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm :
This article is true, I love it, and the fact that its telling the straight up, truth about the consequences
 
tipsyniinja16 replied...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm :
well i aqree with this artical. Nd mynetshepher. but then aqain teenaqers will do what they want reqardles. nd parents are not always around to protect them. but other that then that i aqree with this artical. sextinq is qoin to happen even if we try to prevent it.
 
Andrnick replied...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm :
Sexting is a freakin' stupid thing that teens think that they could show their personal appearance and have a baby once their a young age.
It'll never stop and our new mellinum if greatly involved in these actions.
It's true but I wouldn't say this is a piece of writing; I'd say it's a essay but people consume the consequences at last and that'll decrease the amount.
-Thanks for this article but I'm trying to get my article posted on here
 
Anne P. replied...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm :
Wouldn't you say an essay is a piece of writing?
I would! :)
 
Sarbear This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 14, 2010 at 10:06 am :
I would! I think this is great! And I'm glad it's in the mag. like it deserves to be.
 
FantasyNight replied...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm :
Gosh, I didn't even know there was such a term before I read this! Very helpful :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Daphne F. said...
Sept. 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm:
This article is complerely true, I love it, and the fact that its telling the straight up, truth about the consequences.
 
SnehaChatterjeeThis 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. replied...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 9:26 am :
So true!!! a well written article.....
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback