I remember when I was in middle school, my ‘boyfriend’ and I would talk for hours on AIM. In school, we barely acknowledged each other’s presence, but when we got home and signed online (my screen name was zoeboey88) it was on. Later, in early high school my boyfriend – a different one, obvi – and I would spend hours every night on the phone.
Now-a-days, as technology is progressing, physical and verbal contact is steadily digressing. The newest trend emerging in middle schools and high school (and perhaps even for some socially challenged adults) is ‘sexting.’
-Verb. The act of sending sexually explicit text messages via cell phone, describing particularly raunchy thoughts and/or actions. Particularly trendy in middle and highschool. Picture messages may be included if one is lucky, often if one is planning on working the other up then showing the pictures to all of their friends at Miley Cyrus sleep-over parties.
Examples: -“I didn’t do my algebra homework because I was up all night sexting with Johnny.”
-” Kimberly! No sexting in class!”
Aside from just sending dirty thoughts (“I can’t wait to <verb> your <body part> later”) (“I wish your were here right now so I could cover you in <something sweet and/or sticky> and then we could <verb>”), teenagers these days are actually carrying out entire relationships via text. They will start, maintain, and end relationships completely through text. While I suppose their conversations are not far from my earlier AIM days, at least I had to have those conversations alone in my room with my computer. Now you can spill your heart out or describe the color of your underwear at the dinner table, your grandparents house, or during your little sister’s dance recital.
Even more ridiculous than turning someone across town on, while chillin’ on grandma’s plastic-covered couch, is that sexting is a felony! Apparently it qualifies as child pornography, and you can face jail time. Six teens in Greensburg, PA, are currently facing charges for receiving naughty pics.
Come on now people! I’m not a parent, but if I was I am not sure if I would be horrified at the idea of sexting, or relieved my kid is sending dirty messages about having sex instead of getting out there and actually doing it. Cell phones can’t get you pregnant, or give you the clap. I think in this country we have more prominent issues to worry about than the technologically promiscuous thirteen year-olds running around.
On top of that, it also makes me worried about the future of physical intimacy. These kids should be making-out in the back of movie theatres or in dark basements. Will sexting make these kids get it on earlier, as they are already comfortable discussing the subject? Or later, because they are only comfortable with sex if they are across town at the other end of a cell phone. Will this lead to a whole new crop of pregnant high schoolers (anyone remember that pregnancy pact in MA a while back?) Or will they develop emotional and/or social issues, resulting in a whole new crop of 40-year-old virgins skulking around come 2035? We will just have to wait and see.
Of course, teens are not the only ones sexting..some sexts have surfaced from Tiger Woods to a mistress, and how many celebrities have naked pics (or worse!) online that started with a webcam or iphone? Which goes to show how dumb it is to send pictures out, no matter how old you are. Even if it is just to your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/next door neighbour with whom your having a torrid affair, who you love soooo much, you never know where they could end up. Just ask Carrie Prejean.