“Sexting” isn’t a thing

Do you read things on the internet?  If you’re reading this, I’m going to say that yes, you do.  So you’re probably familiar with the term “sexting.”   Like “Twilight” and “zhu zhu pets” and “taylor swift,” this is a new term used to describe the activities and interests of tweens and teens in America.  Actually I don’t know if anyone likes Zhu Zhu Pets.    It means “the same as sending someone a picture of yourself electronically except naked.”  And EVERYBODY is talking about it!!  And as this gross AARP article points out,  everyone is doing it.

What separates “sexting” from “twilight” and “taylor swift” in this realm is that it worries people.   A girl recently hanged herself in response to bullying a after a topless photo she took of herself was passed around her school.

Personally, I have never engaged in sexting for a number of reasons:

1.  It’s silly.

2.  I’m a never-nude.

3.  cell phone cameras make everything all yellow and sickly looking anyway.

I recently had my gym bag stolen.  This means my wallet and my cell phone are both in the hands of some terrible stranger, probably a Teen, since it was at the YMCA.   At some point, I think when I was reading about Rhianna saying that she feels bad for boyfriends who don’t get naked pictures of their ladies, (yes that is a link to People magazine…) I was briefly relieved that I was not engaged in sexting.    Becuase if I was a teen who stole a phone, and it was filled with naked pictures, I would totally send them to the contact named “Mom.”  Because it would be hilarious.

Which made me wonder: why are we so worried about sexting? Electronic communication on today’s scale is new.  Of course a bunch of dumb people are going to use it to do dumb things, and of course people are going to use it to do mean things.    The proper way of using electronic media is quickly being socially regulated.  For instance, as more potential employers notice their applicants drunk photos on facebook, fewer drunk photos will be posted.  As more Megan McCains post sexy photos on Twitter (nsfw), fewer politican’s daughters (hopefully) will repeat that mistake.

Trust me, things are going to calm down.   Until then, I leave you with this.




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8 responses to ““Sexting” isn’t a thing

  1. oh oh! i know the answer to this one! it’s a thing because it involves nudity and nudity is just plain wrong.

  2. Benji

    I guess I’m being selfish, but the only thing sexting makes me worry about is me not keeping up with the times…not that I’m wanting to engage in sexting, but I feel like there’s a whole social power dynamic evolving that I know nothing about.

    Wait, come to think of it, I did engage in some unbecoming texts a couple of months ago. (You know what I’m talking about.) I should have given it a ponder…seriously.

    I’m sure you’ve heard about some of the Zhu Zhu pets possibly containing lead (in particular, one named “Mr. Squiggles”)? NPR later said the story could not be verified, but for one glorious moment I did get to hear Robert Siegel say, “Mr. Squiggles has been rumored to contain toxic levels of heavy metals.”

    • kmarone

      Are you talking about the text you sent me about a wild otter that was intended for someone else? I sent that to all prospective employers. Sorry, guy.

  3. Benji

    Also, I’m glad that AARP article has this useful etymological tidbit:

    The Massachusetts resident has been enjoying the high-tech flirtation for years now, taking part in a trend the mainstream media has dubbed “sexting,” a play on the term “texting” (“sex” plus “text” equals “sext”).

    For awhile now, I’ve puzzled over the origins of the word “sexting”. As you’re all aware, it’s quite a contentious issue among linguists, although a consensus has been emerging among scholars recently. (To wit: the Latin “sextus”, meaning sixth; many teens are required to take Latin classes in high school and find it “awesome”; sixth period is traditionally the time when teenage “skanks” engage in illicit intercourse; etc etc.) The brilliant interpretation above blows open the whole dispute, though, and the experts will surely be debating AARP’s audacious scholarly claims for years to come.

  4. You can’t really control people from sending nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves. On the other hand, parents are responsible and should make sure what their kids are doing with their mobile phones whether they’re sexting or not.

  5. Benji

    This post has really stirred the controversy pot.

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