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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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!
Zazawish777 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 »)

Freedom.ThroughPens 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.
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
bonez2k12 said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 6:01 am
I notice that some of you talk about the girls sending naked pictures to their boyfriends, but it goes the other way around too, males send pictures around too
savetheplanet replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm
While that's true, it's nowhere near as often as the girl sending it to her bf.
Jessica G. replied...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm
Ha, what a joke! I wonder how much you actually know about the subject. In my experience, guys have sent me waay more nude pics than I've sent them. (Yes, I realize sexting is bad and stupid. I don't do it anymore. It was a mistake of my past) The stuff you hear about always seems to be girls, but that's probably because boys are more likely to spread that to others than girls are.
ohheyyyelli said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 12:14 am
I know two girls who went out and had a nasty break-up, one of them posted a picture of an unmetionable body part on facebook and wrote awful things about her. Not only does in come with consequences but it's just trashy and demoralizing.
yoitsme said...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 2:47 am
This is really well written, and straight to the point. It makes people really think it through and decide for themselves if it's worth it.
theprincess95 said...
May 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm
My best friend has had pictures of her circulated around our high school and I don't think it's worth it!  If you trust the person enough to send them something like that, you should have enough confidence to just show them in person.  Sexting is stupid and WAY irresponsible.  Watch out for yourselves ladies.  Don't get talked into it
sarah4president said...
May 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm
well written.
browneyedcat said...
May 6, 2011 at 11:21 am
I would never ever sext. don't do it. People like to embarrass other people so you will become a victim.
x_Topscore_x said...
May 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

Great artical!


PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm
im too insecure to sext. either way, whats the point? its not like anyone will respect you more if you do it. actually, theyll probably just laugh at you.
CeCe.Babyy said...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 10:50 am
this is so well written. nd it is very true. anything can be harmful , buh soliciting yurself is bad. i kno it seems harmless and okay, but it isnt! its negative for everyone involved..
FreeThinking13 said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm
what alot of people don't know that even after they delete sexts from their phones and computers, it's still in cyberspace and ther is still a way to find it, one of my friend found that out the hard way.
SmileMoment said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm
Not only does it have a chance of ruining your life but it can bring you to do things such as chatting dirty over internet and even show things you never thought you would show online. Not only do these things have chances of getting around to people you know, but it is emotionally and socially disinigrating to you, even if no one finds out.
TaylorJade said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm
I think it is extremely ridiculous that people send dirty pictures to each other! It is degrading to women, it shows that you don't respect yourself, and... if you felt so strongly about someone, so much that you would sext, don't you think you could at least wait. Like. Til marrage? Hahaha... I think sexting is as bad- if not worse- than really having sex. There is no emotion, just pure lust, and no connection is made. (No pun intended.) So. Yeah.
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