Sexting — the questionably sexy practice of sending nude photos of oneself to lovers/Twitter followers/scandalized parents — is not exactly renowned for its good sense.Police have pursued — recklessly, in some recent cases — the creators and senders of underage sexts.Parents have cringed over every new teen sexting scandal.
There can be no doubt about it: sexting is a risky, compromising, indiscreet business.
But despite that, studies suggest that one in five adult cellphone-users have done it — which is a solid argument, we think, for tut-tutting less and educating more.
After all, sexting isn’t just the province of the young and reckless: According to Pew Research, 34 percent of adults aged 25 to 34, and 22 percent of adults aged 35 to 44, have received sexts, too.
So if you’re to sext, which you are, you might as well do it safely.
Leaving aside the potential moral/legal/etiquette problems with sexting, of which there are admittedly many, digital nudes suffer two main privacy problems.
First off, unlike physical pictures, they’re endlessly easy to copy, save and spread.Second — and this is obvious — they’re immediately and personally identifiable.Even if your face isn’t, ahem, in the photo, other information about you, like your cellphone number, is probably tied to it.That means sexters have two methods to protect their photos: Make them unshareable, or make them anonymous.Many attempts have, famously, been made at the former.Snapchat, the app that makes photos “self-destruct” after a few seconds, was a popular haven for sexters before someone discovered that screenshots could be taken secretly, without notifying the sender.