Dear Readers:

By now most everyone who has a tech device has heard of “texting”.

One definition of a “texter” is “a person who communicates by text messaging”. Don’t you just love it when words are defined with the same word! But I digress. To me, text messages are just more holes in the already hammered down coffin of the English language. Who needs to spell? Abbreviations, acronyms and re-arranged use of alphabet and numbers [R-U-4-REAL?] have made it so one can remain illiterate and still write (at least with others who can follow this new style of shorthand).

But in 2005, yet a newer updated version was first coined – “sexting”- in an article in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine.

Since then that auspicious launch, studies dispute the percentage use of this means of communication, defined on Wikipedia as “the act of sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs, primarily between mobile phones.”

Seven years later, Wikipedia tells us that ‘sexting’ made its first appearance in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2012.

Sexting has brought down politicians, such as former Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, and comebacks by each failed “BIG TIME” to quote Spitzer. As such behaviour, unlike simple adultery, is rarely forgiven.

Moreover, sexting, without consent, can lead to charges (both civil and criminal) of sexual harassment and while those cases are eventually resolved, the images live on forever. So just as we learned never to drive angry, one should refrain from texting angry or when drunk and take extra caution when sexting.

In fact, those harassment issues already mentioned can even be considered, depending on the content, by zealous prosecutors, as either distributing child pornography, or receiving and being in possession of child pornography.

Did you know that some prosecutors are even charging minors with disseminating child pornography! Take the case of the 16 year old B.C. teen accused of sexting nude photos of a rival and who is now facing child pornography charges.

Some say this is over the top and that the charge was never meant to apply to young people. I say good for the Crown Prosecutor. If you are old enough to take/obtain nude photos of a minor and disseminate them, that is child pornography and it shouldn’t matter how old you are. Some say the legal provisions were made to “protect children”, it does not go on to say “only from people of major age”.

The problem in our society today is that there are no real consequences to most actions [be it corruption or pornography] but no one should get a pass solely based on age with regards to sexting. Bullying by “children” against children has led to the recipients’ suicides. Where do we draw the line?

We already pass kids on in school whether they can read and write or not, and now we should give a pass for pornography? I think no. I hope not. Just as I am known for taking a hard line regarding child drowning and death by enclosed car heat, this has to be dealt with head on, particularly as the images can’t be taken back.

So sit down with your kids and have a chat on the do’s and don’ts of cellular phone etiquette and keep having that chat at regular intervals and avoid the fate of the girl in B.C.

Related Posts