By Makinzi Hinkle
When Pew Internet and American Life Project did a study back in 2009, it was confirmed that “sexting is a teen reality that’s here to stay” (CNN). According to CNN, teens sext because its to show off, to entice someone, to show interest in someone, or to prove commitment. Girls sext as a joke, to get attention, or they were pressured by a guy. For guys, they would blame it on being pressured from friends. Also, it’s a form of flirting, being cool or becoming popular. Nowadays, most teens are interested in sex. The more interest teens are in sex; the easier sexting is. Living in a generation where technology is a big hit, anything can be copied, sent and posted. When teenagers send nudes, they never think about the consequences. Depending on what state you live in, there’s a potential for legal consequences. “A teen could face felony charges for texting explicit photos or even have to register as a sex offender” (www.kidshealth.com).
Other than humiliation and embarrassment, teenagers can experience bullying, the end of friendships, guilt, shame and the feeling of hopelessness. Along with Jessica Logan, Amanda Todd committed suicide at the age of 15. Both teens had their picture sent around and then got bullied for it. They were called rude names online and in person. Many friendships are broken up by one picture. This can lead to the teen feeling betrayed and/or alone. “Friends often distance themselves from the person being targeted because they fear they also will be bullied” (www.bullying.about.com). Teenagers often regret participating in sexting. Their self-esteem will be impacted and it leaves them feeling vulnerable and exposed. Along with bullying, teens will become depressed. While feeling hopeless and depressed, the teen might contemplate suicide.
In 2008, Jessica Logan was found hanging in her bedroom. It was said that she had sent a nude to her boyfriend and he decided to send the picture over the internet. She was only 18 years old. In 2012, Amanda Todd sent a topless picture to an anonymous person on Facebook. A year later, the picture went viral and Todd began to get bullied and teased. It was so bad that Todd had to change school’s multiple times. She had no friends, classmates beat her up and she even tried drinking bleach. She was saved at the last minute. Todd took her life months later.