Everything Negative About Sexting
What is Sexting?
Sexting is the practice of sending erotic or sexually explicit text messages, nude photos or videos to someone. It's a very easy practice to fall into. Nowadays, it's very common among teenagers and even preteens.
Why Does it Happen?
Some reasons why people engage in sexting are as follows:
- A lot of people, especially teenagers, see it as "safe". One teenager said that sexting is safe because you can't get pregnant or contract STDs through it.
- Teenagers reason that having a nude picture of their partner in their phones is an announcement that they are "active".
- Peer pressure. There is no stronger pressure than the one exerted by one's peers. Often times, a teenager might feel odd or left out because everyone around him or her seems to be sexting. In order to "belong", such a person might start to sext.
- Some do it to flirt with someone they like in the hopes that the person would become involved with them in a relationship. Consider the example of Susan. She sent a video of herself doing a sexy dance routine to a man she had a crush on just because he said he was bored. She confided in a friend later that she only did this because she wanted that man to see her as "sexy".
- Some do it simply to return a favor, perhaps someone has sent them a nude photo or video and they feel impelled to do the same or someone has done something for them and asks for nude photos as payment.
Whatever the reason, there is no denying that sexting is something a lot of teenagers engage in. But is sexting really safe? What are the dangers of sexting?
Dangers of Sexting
Once you send a nude photo or video of yourself to someone you immediately make yourself vulnerable to exploitation. You no longer have control over that media and how it is used. There are three ways nude photos and videos of people are used in a negative way:
- The recipient of the media could mass-forward it to his friends to entertain them or broadcast it to the school to make himself more popular.
- A scorned partner could leak the media as a vengeful act of retaliation.
- The media could be sold to pornographic websites.
Another danger is a ruined reputation. As a teenager, even if the party you sext with doesn't expose you to the public, consider how your parents and other responsible adults would feel if they ever discovered such things on your phone. Ellie was 15 when she started sexting with a 26-year-old man she liked. At first, she only did it to show him that she was grown up in the hopes that he would like her back. But as time went on, she became addicted to it. This went on for four months in secret. Then one day, she fell asleep after sending a sexually explicit text message to her crush. Her inbox was left open so when her mother came into her room to check on her, she picked up her phone and saw those messages. Her mother was heartbroken. She couldn't believe her baby girl could say such dirty things and that broke the trust and faith her parents had in her. Ellie was still a virgin at the time but after her parents spoke to her about her bad habit, she felt as dirty as if she had actually been physical with her crush. The story of Ellie illustrates how sexting can break the trust of a parent or guardian.
Sexting can also lead to feelings of worthlessness. It lowers a person's self-esteem. Ellie mentioned earlier, later said: " When I look back on the choices I made, I feel disgusted and ashamed of myself. I wish I can take back every dirty text I sent." Of course, it is impossible to undo what has been done. So before you start sexting, remember that the decisions you make now might come back to haunt you in the future.
A legal consequence of sexting is possible to arrest. When teenagers, especially minors, are involved in the distribution of nude photos, they could be prosecuted for child pornography.
How to avoid it
Be very selective of your friends.
Before sending a text, picture or video, ask yourself: "Would I be comfortable if my parents saw this?"