Controlling privacy with the emergence of ‘sexting’

In the fast-paced world of one-night stands, bar hookups and Tinder matches, spontaneous decisions can jeopardize our privacy as quickly as it takes to hit send.

When it comes to “sexting” — (a term for) texting sexually suggestive or explicit content on mobile devices — some students are losing the transparency of knowing who else is present on the other side of the screen.

So what’s the problem? Accountability of communicative distribution and redistribution is becoming lost.

Unlike having a conversation face to face, you no longer know who else is seeing what is being sent.

The unpredictable domain of technological interconnectivity can blind you from who is sending you sexual messages, but also whom you could be sending those messages to.

There are some unwritten rules when it comes to sexting within a consensual relationship.

For one, it is clear the messages or images should be kept in confidence and that even if the relationship status changes, the privacy of the shared content should remain intact.

However what happens when “sexts” are being sent without consent of the receiving end, outside the set boundaries of an established relationship?

Does the person who received a “dick pic” from some insignificant guy they just met at the bar last night carry an immediate obligation to keep those photos private? Whether there’s an obligation or not to maintain privacy, we believe that there is a basis of irresponsibility when it comes to sending inappropriate content to those who do not expect or desire it.

Sex is a healthy discussion. There is no problem with wanting to express sexual desires with a significant other and doing so in whatever way you feel fit.

Whatever you may choose to send through technology, we believe it justified so long as you are not offending or generally upsetting the person who is receiving the message. Sexting, like sex, must be consensual.

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