Think Before You Send or Receive That Picture
What would we do without our cell phones, right?!? We use them to receive and send emails while on the go. They help us stay connected while we are away from our home, or even work. They are a way for us to be able to call when we are in an emergency (like when our car breaks down). As a parent, they are useful to keep up with your kids when they are away from you. They also make sharing things simple, like pictures and videos.I love it when I get pictures and videos of my nieces. I get a good laugh when my friends send hilarious pictures. And I enjoy sending pictures of our kids, pets, and happenings to my friends and family.
But let’s be honest, not all pictures and videos sent and received via cell phone are good. I am saddened and heartbroken at the very thought that there are teenagers sending and receiving some of the most vulgar pictures to one another. Sexting has become so casual with our young people. First came the texting of inappropriate words, but now words are not enough. Pictures must be sent and shared. It is sickening actually.
As a youth minister I use to share with my youth (a lot) that one of my pet peeves was to see half-naked pictures of teenagers plastered on their Facebook walls and other social media outlets. (I think I have shared this before in previous posts, but it bears repeating). I am sure they probably thought to themselves, “Oh no, here she goes again. We are getting the ‘don’t stand on the toilet half dressed and snap a picture of yourself to post on Facebook’ speech again.” I’m sorry, but I’m just not one to let things that slide. I can’t ignore it. I loved my youth, and I wanted them to know that they needed to love themselves enough to not display such pictures for all the world to see.
I don’t think some teens get the fact that not only will the person they sent the picture to be able to see the picture, but anyone that person decides to share it with, and whoever that person shares it with, and so on and so on. It is a never ending cycle. It is not as casual as some may think. Sexting is like a virus. It spreads rapidly, sometimes without you being aware of it.
Let me talk a bit of straight talk here. Girls, that guy that you just sent that picture of yourself to (you know, the one you wouldn’t want your Dad to see), I know he told you that it was just between you and him but honey, he LIED. Oh, he might be the first to see it, but all of his buddies and their buddies, and quite frankly anyone he might think will get a kick out of seeing you that way, will also get a peek at you. Do you really want that? Do you really want just anyone looking at you? Also, just a little heads up. That guy won’t delete it from his phone either. He will save it. And yea, his parents will find it. They will see it. AACK! And if they know who you and your parents are, they will let your parents know. So now, the picture you wouldn’t want your Dad to see (and he doesn’t want to see it either, trust me), will be made known to him and your Mom. Oh dear.
Guys, you know that picture of that girl that you just received on your phone and you can’t wait to share it with anybody willing to look? She is someone’s daughter. She is much more than the picture she just sent you. I mean, props to you I guess for making her believe what an “honorable guy” you are, but she will see through you. You think your a “man” because you have that picture? Think again dear. Real men don’t devalue and degrade women like that. Is your Dad taking pictures of your Mom like that and sharing them with anybody and everybody? Don’t think so. And speaking of that, what if someone was passing around a picture of your Mom like the one on your phone? AAACK! It doesn’t settle too well with you know does it? Also, do you really want to risk the chance of having that girl’s Dad come after you? Do you want your parents to see what is on your phone, and tell her parents? Do you want to risk the chance that you could do some jail time, and/or have to be a registered sex offender for the rest of your life? I mean, what about your football scholarship? College? Dreams? Future? Is that picture really worth the risk of forfeiting it all?
Oh, don’t think that I don’t know that it happens the other way around. I know guys send girls pictures just as vulgar. And I would say the same things as I stated above, in that scenario. My point in posting this is not to make anyone feel awful, but it is to open the eyes of those sending and receiving such pictures and/or videos. Sexting isn’t casual. It is serious. And just as with anything else that is serious, there are serious consequences. No picture is worth forfeiting your hopes and dreams over. Please think before you take that picture. Think before you send that picture. Think before you receive that picture. You are worth so much more than you realize.
Grace & Peace