Civilization continues to circle the drain
Passing notes in study hall or getting your best friend to ask a boy if he likes you or, you know, LIKES you, is so last century. Nowadays, teenagers are snapping naked pictures of themselves on their cell phones and sending them to their boyfriends and girlfriends.
Boy, you knew it couldn't be a good story, what with the title of this post and all. I wonder, could sending naked pictures of yourself to others go wrong in any way?
Many of these pictures are falling into the wrong hands -- or worse, everyone's hands, via the Internet -- and leading to criminal charges.
Some parents are aghast.
"I just don't understand why kids would do a stupid thing like that," said Rochelle Hoins of Castle Rock, Colo., where 18 students in her twin sons' middle school sent around nude pictures of themselves last year. "We did dumb things when we were kids, but not like that," said Hoins, whose sons were not involved.
I bet her sons are disappointed that no girls thought highly enough of them to send them naked pictures.
School administrators in Santa Fe, Texas, confiscated dozens of cell phones from students in May after nude photos of two junior high girls began circulating. The girls had sent the photos to their boyfriends, who forwarded them to others, officials said.
And yet, those girls probably won't dump the boys for doing that. I mean, they need someone to take them to the prom!
In La Crosse, Wis., a 17-year-old boy recently was charged with child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child and defamation for allegedly posting nude photos of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend on his MySpace page. The girl had taken the pictures with her cell phone at her mother's home and e-mailed them to the boyfriend, authorities said.
"They were pretty graphic," said sheriff's Sgt. Mark Yehle. "I think they just do it to impress their boyfriends. When he breaks up, he 'vents,' in his words, by posting them. He apparently didn't think there was anything wrong with it. He didn't know it was illegal."
If the boy is under 18, is he being charged as an adult? I get that it's pretty heinous, but can we really call it "sexual exploitation" when she, under no apparent duress, provided him with the pictures? I mean, can't we charge them both with stupidity?
Psychologists said the phenomenon reflects typical teenage hormones and lack of judgment, with technology multiplying the potential for mischief. It also may reflect a teenage penchant for exhibitionism, as demonstrated on MySpace and countless other Web sites and blogs.
Good thing the parents are around to stop this. Oh, wait - they're probably not around.
In suburban Syracuse, N.Y., several teenage girls sent naked pictures on their phones to their boyfriends, only to learn that another boy had collected them from the Web and was trying to sell a DVD of them.
We can't punish him for that, can we? That's American chutzpah, man!
Some boys are photographing themselves, too. In Utah, a 16-year-old boy was charged with a felony for sending nude photos of himself over a cell phone to several girls. Four middle school students -- two boys and two girls -- in Daphne, Ala., took photos of themselves on their cell phones and traded the images back and forth, authorities said.
Some nude photos have even turned up in parents' e-mail inboxes.
Where they chuckled at those rascally kids and went back to getting tattoos and wearing baseball caps and dressing like whores. I mean, they can't stop the kids, so why try?
Oh, I'm sure that the parents are all very concerned about this and have never done anything to convince their kids that the only way to get ahead in this world is to flash some skin. So many adults have no respect for their bodies, so why should we expect children to have any?
I don't want to get all Republican on anyone, because conservatives, it seems, would want to lock kids up in their rooms until they reached 21 as a method to stop this. As usual with kids, you need to start early. We're already concerned about our daughters and the way they act. I have nothing against nudity. I want the kids to be comfortable with their bodies. But there's a difference between being comfortable and having no self-respect. These kids are going to see enough imagery that tells them that sex is the only way to get ahead and that boys will only like you if you take off their clothes for them, and it's our job to teach them differently. Even if I was like these teenagers and turned into that kind of young adult (I wasn't, as I was kind of a nerd), at some point you have to grow up. As I usually think, so many parents don't grow up, and so their kids see immature behavior right in the home. Nothing counteracts the way society presents people, so they don't think there's anything particularly wrong with sending naked pictures of themselves on a cell phone. Even if you have no self-respect, don't you have some idea that these pictures will show up on-line? Aren't kids on the Internet all the time these days? Don't they know all about these stupid celebrities who keep showing up naked on-line? Why should they be any different?
I'm moving to the Australian outback. Or maybe the mountains of Nepal. Or maybe the Amazon rain forest. That might keep the kids out of trouble.
This is a depressing story. I hate reading about stupid things that kids do. All I can do is hope our kids aren't stupid. You never know!!!!!