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The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

‘Sexting’ is damaging our sex lives

Originally considered the most impersonal approach to communication, telephone conversations have been dethroned as the most detached method of communication by the invention of texting. Since many know not to make major changes in relationship status over the phone, young adults understand that matters of significance should not be addressed via text either. However, with the introduction of sexting to the phone network, I question young adults’ assessment of the value of sex.

The term ‘sexting’ means sexual non-verbal communication (Via instant messaging, texting, or picture mail). Since it was coined in 2005, the amount of participants has not only increased, but the wide acceptance of the activity has as well.

In a 2008 survey, sponsored by “Cosmogirl” and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20 percent of teens (age 13-19) admitted to sending/posting nude or semi-nude pictures/videos of themselves, while 33 percent of young adults (age 20-26) have confessed to participating in such acts. 39 percent of teens proclaimed that they have sent or posted sexually suggestive text messages, while 59 percent of young adults admitted to this.

Sexting, like earning an online degree, puts participants in the position to score in their flannel pajamas, while watching their favorite trashy television show. However, also like an online degree, sexting is not taken seriously by those involved or the parties in which participants wish to impress.

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When asked if they are more sexually aggressive via text than they were in “real life,” 22 percent of teens and 28 percent of young adults revealed that they are, indicating their discrediting of sexting as a serious act.

However, as many sexters are discovering, it is not only a serious act in your personal life, but it is also a serious offense in the judicial system.

When asked if it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to be shared with others, besides the intended recipient, 44 percent of both teenagers and young adults state that it is. As this statistic implies, sexting does not only pose a problem with who the sender is sharing the picture with, but it also highlights the issue of who the recipient is sharing it with.

As Brett Favre has discovered the consequences of exposing his “most valued player” via text, many fellow “sexters” find that the circulation of their sexts isn’t exactly something to play around with.

Also, with the circulation of dirty pictures among teens, their reputation is not the only thing they have to worry about. Instead, that dirty picture, whether it’s one of themselves or of a classmate, becomes labeled child pornography in a court of law, and they risk life in prison for being in possession of it or sending it.

Whether it’s sexting during brunch (about eating something else entirely,) or sharing a revealing picture during an otherwise dull day, many are entertained by the fact that they don’t have to be sexually active to be sexting. However, sexting too much leads to over-familiarity with the detached sex act, distancing them from the meaning of sex itself.

The positives to sexting include the ability to do it anytime and the confidence to do so. However, with the ability to do so at anytime, it makes the act less special. Furthermore, if the participant does not have the confidence to ask for “8” (oral sex) or take it “IF” (in the front), the required trust of their sex partner is not present. If trust is not expected of their sex partners, then there is an increased likelihood that the texts will circulate beyond the intended parties.

Sexting does not create a safe way to be sexually active, it becomes a damaging sexual activity that the circulation of is potentially worse than STIs. It does not foster communication, as the telephone was invented to do, it only makes me question whether new age communication is bringing us together or distancing us further. It does not become a way to satisfy a partner while apart, it becomes a method in which to liven up history class.

Editor’s Note: Katie Mara is not a sexual health professional, but comments on sex and contemporary culture.

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