“Sexting” is one of those new cultural developments that seems inexplicable and very weird to me. Why would anyone want to send a revealing photo of himself or herself to another person’s cell phone, knowing that the photo could then be sent out to the world at large? Deep down, are people who engage in “sexting” really just indulging a latent exhibitionist streak, and secretly hoping that their boudoir shot gets posted to the internet?
This story discusses the “sexting” issue, quotes some rather dubious statistics — come on, have 18 percent of all female students in America really tried it? — and says the Vermont legislature is considering a bill to legalize “sexting” as between teenagers 18 and under. I imagine that the Vermont legislature will find more pressing issues to address, so I think there’s really no need to debate whether such a bill should be enacted. The real debate should be about why kids want to do it at all.
Of course, it may make sense to take a deep breath and see whether “sexting” becomes a settled part of youth culture or just a passing fad that stops as abruptly as it began. When I was a senior in high school, “streaking” was all the rage, and some kids “streaked” the last day of school. That was 1975; has there been any “streaking” in the years since? Perhaps “sexting” will meet the same fate.