There have been several stories in the news lately about the practice of ‘sexting.’ Sexting is sending racy or nude pictures or videos of yourself to your boyfriend or girlfriend. This practice has become somewhat rampant among high school students and this kind of practice, most especially in that realm, does not usually have very good consequences.
One thing that often happens in high school romances is that they do come to an end. Now many of them come to an end with the boy and or the girl, having nude pictures of their ‘ex’ on their cell phone. As you can probably imagine, the pictures are usually her the girl. So, we have a guy with nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend on his cell phone. Pictures are easily sent out from cell phone to cell phone.
Common decency would indicate that people ought to delete the pictures. Common indecency would mean that you send the pictures out to a lot of people in an effort to humiliate the ‘ex.’ As can be imagined, this is what often ends up taking place.
A Cincinnati teenager, Jesse Logan broke up with her boyfriend and he hounded her. Her pictures soon ended up on cell phone after cell phone and she was harassed to the point that she committed suicide. She was a victim of her own poor choices, her ex-boyfriend’s cruelty, and the relentless humiliation she received at the hand of her classmates. It was, needless to say, a very sad and tragic end to her life.
A new issue has come forward out of this. Many of these pictures are of students under the age of 18 and so those in possession of them are being arrested and charged with child pornography and they are labeled as sex offenders and many are facing time in prison. One young rocket scientist was irate, sitting in his prison garb, complaining that one small mistake on his part led to unfair consequences.
The reason I referred to this guy as a ‘rocket scientist’ is this. He hasn’t figured something out. There was nothing small in his mistake. One can debate whether he is a sexual predator or not or how harshly he should be charged. There was, however, nothing even remotely amusing, nothing trivial, and nothing small about him sending out pictures of his girlfriend, taken out of love for him, to his friends in order to humiliate her. One can argue that she showed poor judgment in posing for the pictures. One can argue for her judgment in dating such a moron. But what happened to her was and is undeserved. My pity level for this guy is low because it is painfully obvious that he does not have a clue as to what he did----and I’m not taking about child pornography.
A lesson that often seems to be unlearned in our society is the lesson of consequences.
I recently saw the movie ‘Watchmen,’ and there is a scene of chaos and someone asked the question, “Whatever became of the American dream?” The answer was this. “This IS the American dream. The problem is it came true.”
I’ve often thought about that during our economic meltdown. The greed, the lack of regulations and oversight, the greed, the mindless lust for more has led to dire consequences not only for the United States but the entire world. During the recent CPAC gathering the controversy was all about a speech about a radio talk show host. Perhaps the most outrageous comment was ‘Our bad,’ said by Michael Steele in reference to the economy. It was like saying that one small mistake led to....
Except it wasn’t one small mistake. And the mistake was not just the mistake of Michael Steele, George W. Bush, and the Republicans. The Democrats jumped off that cliff as well as many others. And, like these guys who texted pictures of their girlfriends, the consequences of this will be long.
Which brings me back to these people who engaged in the sexting.
When a camera is available, even one on a cell phone, one ought to take note that a camera can make a permanent record of what you look like at that moment and what you are wearing or not wearing. Some years ago Dr. Laura Schlessinger lectured the world on good behavior and was mortified to find pictures of herself on the Internet----taken by an old-flame who decided to cash in on her fame. Schlessinger, like so many young women, found herself compromised by a bad decision and a callous man. Some things are not supposed to be saved for posterity. People must learn that exposing one’s self in such a way to a camera can have a life long consequences.
But my greatest wrath has to be a statement on common decency. What kind of lowness does one need to sink to in order to send out or publish such pictures? It makes me wonder if there is no common decency any longer. As I watched two young men, in prison garb, interviewed and outraged that they are in prison, I had no pity on them. I do not know if this is the correct punishment for them, but, if for no other reason, I hope that their time in prison gives them an opportunity as to learning about consequences.