Friday, December 11, 2009

Shhhh! Is that "Sexting?"

Sexting is making the news a lot these days. You know what that means, right?  When someone sends naked or semi-naked pictures through their cell phones?  Anyway, because I look at my daughter’s text messages from time to time, I’ve seen this first-hand.  Boys often are asking girls to “Send me a pic.” When I asked her, “Would just a cute picture of you be what he’s wanting?” She laughed. No, that was not what he was hoping for. He would possibly SETTLE for that, but in her words, “His phone is probably FULL of naked pics from girls.”

 In fact, Alyssa and a boy her age, were looking at each others’ phones. He had at least 10 pictures of girls - even though he wanted to be exclusively her boyfriend.  The pics ranged from pretty shots of the girl’s face, to full body shots, to girls in cut-off’s with the zipper open, revealing a thong.  He immediately deleted all the pics, but he reminded her, “Girls just send them! I don’t even have to ask.”

So that’s their dilemma. While we tell them, you know if you send something it could get spread all around, they are up against girls who do not hesitate to send them.   That’s not a new dilemma though, it’s just taken this exponential turn.  As women, we can remember girls who were willing to do more with guys than we were. That has been around forever. But now, with the internet and texting, you are not limited to the girls in your neighborhood. Nor are you limited to how a person looks in real life. Girls can look like fashion models in their photos but not in reality. This just seems to take the competition in their minds to a new level.

Have you seen the new MTV commercial campaign, A Thin Line? With regard to sexting, their point is that a thin line exists between sending something to your boyfriend, and sharing it with the whole school. Odds are, relationships will end, someone will get mad. And then what was sent in privacy can live on and be used against you forever.  They have a variety of GREAT 30 second clips about sexting and cyber-bullying. You should watch them with your kids!

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