The Pros and Cons of Sexting
It may surprise you to know that zapping past your head right now- couriered by invisible radio waves- are millions of media messages that people hope their grandmas never see.
Sexting has become a huge part of romantic relationships in our time. These days, with a two-way phone camera, some light, one or two filters, and as little as 24 megabytes of data, we could make grandma very uncomfortable.
According to Dr. Emily Stasko of Drexel University Philadelphia, sexting is defined as the sending or receiving of sexually suggestive or explicit content via text message, primarily using a mobile device. Some sexters may send content with the intent of receiving racy content too, while others just send them in without the intentions of receiving. What can I say, some people really are just givers from the heart *shrug*
A lot of research has been done on sexting, with a main focus on teenagers and everyone agrees that choosing whether to sext or not, is not a decision teenagers should be making or worrying about. In fact, it usually does them more harm than good, but the rest of us and our grandmas still wonder about sexting and whether it's morally right or wrong; whether it's acceptable practice or just plain reprehensible; whether romantic relationships benefit from it or can do well without it.
The public opinion is divided. Some people think it's completely wrong, some think it's the best thing since air travel, and of course some people are on the fence- the fencers.
This post is for the fencers.
People on the fence at some point tend to be swung one way or the other, usually influenced by opinions of others or more bothersome, pressurized into participating in activities they'd rather not- which in this case would be the act of sexting.
If you are trying to decide whether or not to add sexting to your romantic life, it's necessary to consider the implications of your decision. Weigh the benefits(pros) and drawbacks(cons) on your partner, conscience, image, relationship and lifestyle. Here are some things to consider before you jump right in or stay right out:
Asides from improving your photography and directing skills on some level, sexting has been reported to make couples feel closer and more intimate. Couples in long distance relationships, most especially have benefited from this. It creates tension, excitement, creates that taut feeling of anticipation and all that good stuff.
A study from Drexel University by Dr. Stasko, reported a connection between sexting and sexual satisfaction, as well as relationship satisfaction, for people in long-term, committed relationships.
The same study found that single people reported a lower level of relationship and sexual satisfaction, when compared with married people.
May become a meme or go viral
If not properly managed, photos, screenshots of messages, and other content may go viral, become memes and/or end up as a Dropbox link with over 50,000 hits.
Studies show that 17% of sexters forward their sexts, and 55% of these sexters send it to multiple recipients...just because sharing is caring. If this occurs, there's a higher chance that grandma will see it.
Maybe hacked into
While some of us are just trying to have a good time on the internet, there are also people who are on there to hack, harass and blackmail. It's important to be aware that hackers are able to access our data, if we don't put proper systems in place. According to TIME, one solution is to switch on the "two-step verification"option on your phone and apps. This provides a barrier against hackers and keeps those sultry face-pouts safe.
May become someone's wallpaper...forever
The sext recipient has this content forever and can do whatever they want with it- make post stamps, stickers, posters, banners, postcards, Christmas cards. Just saying. Not to mention their grandma could see it too!
On my first day at Business School, the IT department gave a quick presentation about our tech-related lives in affiliation with school and life, in general. They provided information about our online platform, taught us the importance of using complex passwords, the relevance of our social media presence, cyber footprint, and of course, as in any fun presentation- the topic of sexting came up. We were adviced to hold off on it as much as we had the power to. Sometimes, things go south.
One minute he's buying you roses, the next you are sending all-a-that into his phone, then you break up and Mr. Hyde suddenly goes into his lab with your sexy all-a-that photos and unleashes vengeance by attaching that jpeg file to everyone on his friend list! It's important to note that relationships have life cycles and things change. There have been too many cases of sextees using material as blackmail or bullying material after a break up.
This may be in part, why single people seem to report a lower rate of satisfaction after sexting experiences. More research would be required to find out why they really aren't too delighted.
Still, it appears sexting does hold benefits for married couples. However, it's important to manage messages properly and securely, and to be aware of the susceptibility of electronic content to hacking and accidental discovery. It might help to provide several barriers of security such as passwords, "hide" option, the fingerprint security option. Why? Because leaving photos lying around in your memory card, unprotected is probably not a good idea, anyone could stumble on it- your friends, your colleagues, that-person-we-all-know-who-you-show-one-photo-to-but-just-keeps-scrolling-through-your-photos *side eye*, your kids and of course, grandma.
With the pros and cons all laid out, fencers, what'd you say?
What are your thoughts? Would love to know!