Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Dangers of Camera Phones or Sexting

New technologies present vast opportunities for good and evil. How we use them will determine whether they are advantageous in our lives or not. However, human ingenuity coupled with Satan’s insatiable desire for deception creates a perfect storm that has destroyed legions of people’s lives and souls (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8).

Camera phones are one of the latest examples. They can be wonderful, if used properly. Priceless moments captured for all to see can warm hearts and preserve memories. The Internet allows the preservation of these memories for many years to come. For example, the antics of beloved pets and precocious children can enliven families for generations.

Sin, though, takes everything and utilizes it to destroy souls and the cause of Christ. Teens, especially, are fulfilling Satan’s mission by allowing him to destroy their purity and reputations. And they are making it far too easy on him.
Experts are reporting that teens are commonly using raunchy Cell Phone photos in dating.

Forget about passing notes in study hall; some teens are now using their cell phones to flirt and send nude pictures of themselves.

The instant text, picture and video messages have become part of some teens’ courtship behavior, police and school officials said. The messages often spread quickly and sometimes find their way to public Web sites.

“I’ve seen everything from your basic striptease to sexual acts being performed,” said Reynoldsburg police Detective Brian Marvin, a member of the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force of Central Ohio. “You name it, they will do it at their home under this perceived anonymity.

Stories proliferate of teens engaging in such behavior that is now being called by some Sexting.

They take photos of themselves and send them to their boyfriend and within seconds their nude photograph is on the phones of hundreds of people. Then the photos are uploaded to the Internet and everything degenerates from there. When photos get on the Internet, they never go away. Dozens of sites exist for the sole purpose of uploading nude photos from camera phones.

These cell phone photos can also be ways to punish people. the The threat of taking clandestine photos and spreading them to everyone in school can be a way to intimidate someone into doing anything they desire.

They also continue to reinforce the model of sexually aggressive women in our society.

Westerville Central High School senior Jerome Ray said he’s received such unsolicited messages, including one from a classmate while he was sitting with his girlfriend.

“A lot more girls are aggressive,” said Ray, 18. “Some girls are crazy and they are putting themselves out there.”

Candice Kelsey, a teacher from California, said some teenage girls think they have to be provocative to get boys’ attention. As a result, they will send photos they hope their parents never see.

“This happens a lot,” said Kelsey, author of Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence. “It crosses every racial socio-economic group. Christian kids are doing it. Jewish kids are doing it.”

Parents must monitor what is on the cell phones of their teenagers.
The situation is even more dire because criminal behavior is involved. Sending out nude photos of an underage teen is legally child pornography. A simple action soon becomes a devastating event. They can forever be listed as sex offenders or go to prison.

People are losing jobs and careers are being destroyed for what people have online. Beware! Teens don’t often think of the long term consequences of their actions. That is why we have to do it for them! The best thing you can do is talk to your kids about it and teach, teach, teach. (Eph. 6:4)

May God help us all in raising our children in this ungodly world,


*** Credit goes to Richard Mansel, preacher for the Church of Christ at Allenhurst in South Georgia for this article. He studies the culture and serves as the Managing Editor and weekly columnist for Forthright. Richard is the author of “The Most Important Question: What Must I Do to Be Saved.

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