Teenagers are sexting now more than ever before. What is sexting? According to Wikipedia, “Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones.”
Why has sexting become so popular and how do teens view this type of behavior? As can be expected, there is a wide range of attitudes from those who think sexting is just an innocent way of keeping in touch to those who describe it as sinful and disgusting.
Is there something positive about sexting? According to some teens, sexting is a way to express your feelings, even to show graphically that you love someone else. Some teens feel that sexting is safe because you can’t get pregnant and you can’t contract a sexually transmitted disease. In sexting there is no physical contact.
For some teens, sexting has become a way for a young lady to capture a guy’s attention. But if a guy or girl is exchanging sexting messages with you, how do you know if that person is exchanging these types of messages with others as well? You don’t unless you have access to that person’s mobile phone.
If a girl sends photos of her breasts to a guy she likes, how does she know that he is looking at the images by himself? She doesn’t. Many guys who receive these sexting messages are likely to share the images with their friends. Remember, some guys like to brag and show off. If you happen to be the one who sent those photos to the wrong guy, the images could conceivably be posted all over the internet.
Some sexters think of these images as impersonal because it is just a picture. But if it is a picture of you, in some compromising position or totally nude, it is not just a picture, it is erotic or even pornographic. And if someone over 18 is exchanging sexting images with someone under 18, there is the potential for criminal charges.
Relationships have been challenged and destroyed just by one partner discovering another male or female friending his or her intimate partner on a social media site like Facebook. Imagine how much more devastating it is for an intimate partner to discover one of these sexting images – and some raunchy sensual text to go along with the photo.
If a sexting image goes viral it can never be retrieved and erased. What happens when that innocent “play” gets discovered by a potential employer or a new customer or client or your parents? The ramifications, later on at totally unexpected times, can be quite self-destructive. Sexting may just be a phase to be outgrown but the damaging aftermath can have lasting consequences.