In recent weeks, news stories about the sexting phenomenon i.e. sending nude or suggestive photos of yourself via text message have blanketed the media.
While some may argue that is just cheeky fun or another way to digitally flirt, the consequences of sending pictures of the “Girls Gone Wild” variety are very real. So should you do it? Below are five things to consider before you bare all and press ‘send.’
1. It Can Be a Felony
Teenagers, especially, are big fans of the sexting trend. According to a study by Teenage Research Unlimited, twenty-two percent of teenage girls and eighteen percent of boys have taken nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and sent them to someone or posted them online. And they’re not alone: a third of young adults (20-26 years old) have also admitted to sending racy pics. For the under 18-set, however, sending risqué photos comes with an additional risk: you can be arrested for trafficking child porn, even if the images are of yourself! A 15-year-old Ohio girl was arrested in January on felony child pornography charges for allegedly sending nude cell phone pictures of herself to classmates.
2. It Can Ruin Your Career
Suggestive cell phone images can also ruin your career. According to the BBC, Elizabeth Wong, a Malaysian politician, was forced to resign her job this month after nude cell phone pictures of her taken by an ex-boyfriend circulated around the Internet. Certainly, politicians have much to lose with this kind of exposure, but teachers and those who work in the corporate sector also put themselves at risk.
3. The Photos Can End Up on the Internet
Rarely do private photos stay that way; revealing photos are often shared, especially after a break-up. According to the TRU study, which was funded by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com, over a third of teenage boys and forty-percent of young adult men reported receiving or seeing private photos.
Have you ever sent sexy photos of yourself to someone?
4. Or They Can End Up in the Wrong Hands
Even if you trust the person your sending saucy photos to, either of you could lose your phone. An Arkansas man sued McDonalds last November after accidentally leaving his cell phone, which contained nude photos of his wife, at the Golden Arches eatery. The man was incensed when the photos ended up on the Internet, according to the Associated Press.
Even celebrities are prone to accidents: According to Maxim Radio, Ashton Kutcher accidentally left his cell phone in a cab while in April 2007, containing nude photos of Demi Moore. The driver of the cab later demanded a million dollars ransom for the phone, but it is unclear if Kutcher or Moore paid it.
5. They Can Live on Forever
Even after you delete any questionable photos, they could still haunt you, for years to come, if they wind up on the Internet or Facebook. So when it comes to personal photos, practice safe sexting and store them somewhere safe, not on your cell phone.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"