I read the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “Detective warns against dangers of youth sexting,” June 28.
While the saying “kids will be kids” implies that some young adults will invariably make “youthful indiscretions,” it continually amazes me how many teens and 20-somethings will send nude (or semi-nude) photos of themselves to their boyfriends/girlfriends.
While they seemingly are comfortable with modern technology, their brains haven’t matured along with their hormonal impulses. Young people often confuse “love” with temporary “infatuation” which can cease almost as quickly as it began. Worst of all, they forget that an image transmitted through cyberspace tends to stay in cyberspace forever.
The temptation to display their nude body will soon turn to regret. After the relationship goes sour or if the recipient re-posts the image to third parties or others, which might be forwarded many times, perhaps eventually to a pervert who might sell the image for a few bucks. The posting of explicit images can hurt the young person’s future job-prospects, as well as their own personal reputations, and the image may even float back to haunt their own family.
I wonder how many of those teens or 20-sometings would send a nude picture of themselves directly to their grandmothers or aged great-grandfathers? This is where families need to set “ground rules.” There is a time and a place to brag, but likewise there is a time and a place for shame.
It may sound old-fashioned, but the term “private parts” should come back into vogue. Some parts of the human body should be seen by only a select few, and that has to be based upon solid trust.
Young people shouldn’t turn tantalizing images of themselves into a “competiton” for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
While it may spawn lust, it certainly won’t spawn a love that’s forever.
James A. Marples,