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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MightSixNine'Her said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm
hahaha . imight six nine her , jus like my aim !
theinformer12345 replied...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 10:58 am
hahah i love that song ;)
PrettyGurlRock17 said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 11:03 am
I agree with you. People should not expose themselves because once an ex gets mad they can show the whole world if they wanted to.
chrisshane10 replied...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm
that is so true nude pics of u is like a weapon 4 the recipiant they can use wen they want and u can,t prevent that from happening
nspellman said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 10:23 am
this is very serious to me and i think everyone should take it seriously as well.
GamerGirl said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm
its really a big issue i think. a lot of guys at my school ask there girlfriends to do this and SOME, not ALL, actually send the stuff. in my opinion, if a boyfriend asks to do that, i personally wouldnt but its your choice. and my school actually had a huge meeting because they found out the girlfriends would after sometimes put the pics on there facebook. to me this needs to be adressed more.
steffybug912 said...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm
Yes, did this when i was 11, here i am 14 under investigation with the FBI and child services. it is a fellony , IF your under the age of 18. This is call distribution of child pornography .
steffybug912 said...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Noone should be doing this ! it most certainly is a big deal, if your under the age of 18 , its considered distribution of child pornagraphy . its not JUST a "pic" its your body saved on a digital advise that can be hacked. Did you know IF your blue tuth happens to be on anyone can connect to it, therefore ANYONE can see your personal places.
black-sapphire said...
Dec. 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Okay...why is it such a big deal if someone sent some pics? Its their choice if they want to sext, and if they choose to send that stuff--then leave them be, it's their can't live it for them..
cyanidesun replied...
Dec. 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm
The article isn't saying that we should hold down anyone who sexts and burn them with a cigarette as punishment or anything lol, the main point is simply that the risks outweigh any sort of benefit one might obtain from it, and it's just not a smart thing to do. Obviously if someone wants to do something, no one's going to stop them, but knowing the facts before hand is vital in your decision on whether or not to press the send button.  
DifferentTeen replied...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm
Its a big deal because it ruins your life. And if everyone sees a girl naked on some kids phone, they'll think things about her. Like how easy for guys to get her she probably is. Truth is, it may be your life but until you're 18, you're gonna get peopole that tell you how to live your life. And sometimes even when you're older than 18. And those people have some good advice, you should listen if you want to grow up to have a good home, job, and a family. That just my unwanted opinion.
Browniskeez replied...
Feb. 16, 2011 at 11:36 am
Sexting is the most beautifulist things in the world, its sooo cool, and its improven my life and now,  my friends actually like me
xJuneBugx replied...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

1. i have a feeling your only doing this for a response, but its not funny.

2. it may have "improved your life", but it certainly hasn't improved your grammar..

3. what if your family saw it? everyone would lose respect for you.

AthenaBook replied...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm
And you do know that you can get arrested, right? I agree with xJuneBugx and you should also keep in mind that if your "friends" don't like you unless you send those types of things, then they shouldn't be your friends. I don't want to tell you who to like or dislike, but remember that true friends love you for who you are.
Shrien replied...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm
xJuneBugx, couldnt have said it better!
pretty rave girl said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm
you are so right this is a horrible thing to do to anyone you can destroy the lifes that u dont own
bunny2crazy said...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm
I think that skools should have to read this article.
VampMonster said...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Seriously? whoever does this is seriously stupid, what if ur parents see ur pics? what then? or everyone at skool, they'll treat u with a lot of disrespect on what was supposed to have been private. Geez.
horsegirl27 said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm
wordsmith97 replied...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm
One of my friends actually does this. After or as he "get's lucky" he takes a picture of "her" and sends it to everybody he knows. It's really disgusting.
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