Half of you reading the title thought, “Wow, it’s been so long, she doesn’t even know how to spell it anymore”. To you people, I’m thinking something snarky.
Half of you reading this thought, “I do that”. It is you people who I need to understand.
The concept of “sexting” has just recently come into my consciousness. At first, I thought it just meant a bit of harmless, sexy flirting via informal messaging medium (ie the text message).
Then I read about some 18 year old being labeled a sex offender because he forwarded to his friends naked pictures of his 16 year old girlfriend after a fight with her. There are so many things wrong with that story, but let’s just focus on the actual concept.
Sexting is not just sexy talk—it is often the exchange of naked or semi-naked photos via text. Remember when you just had to worry about those silly polaroids (or in my case, daguerreotypes) getting misplaced? Now, in a blink of an eye, it’s not just the garbage man who gets an eyeful. No, now it is the entire eastern seaboard with one erroneous click of the send button—or malicious click.
Ever start sending an email or a text to someone, but send it to the wrong person accidentally? Yeah. I’ve done that at work. I sent a personal email, and it accidentally went to one of the partners instead. I only thank God to this day that it was relatively innocent about the joys of joining the group in LA. Now picture this happening with something naked. Can you imagine the horror?
I’m involved with a group that does charity work. Let’s think for a moment if one of our phones accidentally sent a naked text to one of our stored contacts. It’s difficult to argue your professionalism after that one.
Oh, and don’t forget drunk dialing. After a couple of shots of tequila (or in my case, a quarter of a glass of white wine spritzer), all sorts of very bad ideas suddenly sound brilliant and the invention of “send to all contacts” has just made this scenario all the more devastating.
And let’s not kid ourselves here, text messages aren’t private. Your communications provider can access these things, too. So, the next time you think to yourself, “I’m going to send my boyfriend, George Clooney, something sexy” try imagining half of AT&T looking at it, too.
Of course, it is not only the fear of someone unintended seeing these photos that keeps me from doing some salacious posing. No one needs to see me naked. I try to see that as little as possible. I’m at least partially convinced that there is a very real possibility of creating a massive communications black out if tried this. Seriously. I’m just trying to save you people from the retinal scarring.
You can thank me by sending your stories of where you have already accidentally sent something embarrassing astray so I can kick back with some popcorn and properly enjoy the evening.
Kate, who will always fear the errant click, in LA