Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sexting...the Silent Menace

“Sexting” one of the goofiest made up words since “iPad”. “But Josh,” you’re saying to your computer (which you really shouldn’t because computers don’t work that way…yet) “I’m over the age of 16. I’ve never heard of Justin Bieber, let alone ‘sexting,’ what does it mean?”

I’m glad you asked, nonexistent voice in my head! “Sexting” is the act of sending nude photos, or provocative “texts” by “cell phone.” Although it could just as easily mean something else, or nothing at all. I’m not entirely sure. Lemme put up the definition from

“the act of text messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit.”

Seems pretty cut and dry right? Doesn’t actually match up with what I said, but that’s okay, because here’s the next definition (by the by, why are there so many definitions for a word that was made up within the last year or so?)

“a term created by the media referring to sending sexually explicit text messages. The term is used by adults who are out of the loop, and not by the individuals actually sending the messages.”


“when a guy and a girl send dirty text messages back and forth to each other. Pictures may also be included, but only if you're lucky.”

So if you mix those definitions up in a blender and pour out the creamy results, you basically get the definition I said in the first place, rendering that little jaunt over to urbandictionary pointless. Good times.

It has been well documented (by me) that I enjoy watching television. But I’m getting tired of how every time I turn my tv on, I’m subjected to some kind of PSA about the dangers of sexting. These PSAs usually feature a bunch of unattractive teens, sitting around cross-legged or backwards in chairs around some random stage, rapping*to each other about the dangers of sexting.

Of course, if one wants to take away any message from this commercial the people who made it probably should have hired teens who are actually attractive and look like they probably deal with sexting on a regular basis. Instead it looks like the producers just went to the some kind of Twilight/Yu-Gi-Oh joint convention (TwiGiOhCon? YuLightCon?) and snagged the first group of lameos they found. Honestly, the kids in the PSA look like they wouldn’t know what to do with their own dangly bits, let alone getting a picture of somebody’s dirty pillows on their phones.

Secondly, all of the kids make it sound like the concept of sexting is just one vast conspiracy designed to trick them into taking naked pictures of themselves to put up on the internet. Sorry little Sally, but your inverted nipples and completely flat ass aren’t something the world is clamoring to see. Especially not when there’s actual, free porn everywhere you go online. Professional porn with two attractive women eating chocolate soft serve ice cream out of one cup together. With all of the nudity available on line, what makes you think your pathetic body is desired?

Bob: Hi Sally! Wat up lol?
Sally: Just got out of shower, wanna c a pic?
Bob: …Ummm, not really. Thnx tho.
Sally: 2 late. Just sent. Enjoy me nekkid!

At one point in the PSA they actually say that over half of all “sexts” are passed on and showed to others. And to this I say “huh?” Fifty percent? Where’d they pull that number out of? Is there some government agency that goes around to schools polling kids as to their sexting habits? Was there a question added to the Census that I missed? How could anybody possibly know what percentage of sexts are shared? (I once attended a class about sexual harassment and rape in the army and at one point the person running the class said that 82% of rapes in the military are never reported. To which I asked her, how she knew it was 82% if they weren’t being reported. She had no answer)

I don’t engage in sexting personally, I find it to be a nasty, disgusting habit, too base and uncouth to even be considered. But…if I were going to “sext” it wouldn’t be with the end goal of getting pics and racy texts to show my friends.(Or would it?) Who does that and why? Probably those same guys in high school who would lie about who they’ve had sex with, or the ones who pretend that they do have a girlfriend, but she lives in Canada and you’ve never met her.

Another problem with the PSA is that they’ve obviously confused phones with the internet. Sure, with these new-fangled phones people can very easily jump on the interwebs and post pics, but it seems ridiculously unlikely that it’ll happen. The pic will just stay in the person’s phone until they get tired of it (or of the person who sent it) and erase it, or when they get a new phone or something. Stuff online is pretty much on there forever (or until 4Chan finally breaks the internet), but they aren’t the same thing.

I say nuts to that! Don’t let badly produced PSAs (probably starring…Canadians. Yuck!) mess up a good thing we’ve got going here people.

Sext On You Crazy Diamond!

*The old definition of rapping that adults use when they want to talk to kids about the birds and the bees or whatever, not hip-hop.

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