Back in the mid-to-late-90’s, before cameraphones or affordable digital cameras, if you wanted especially sexy photos of your honey, you had to either know someone who knew someone who had access to photo developing, or you had to know about THAT ONE PLACE in town that would develop and print ANYTHING. (Within reason.)
Or you had to find a Polaroid One-Step at the thrift, which is the route we went. And, boy, the two times we used that Polaroid were fun and sexy at the time, but overexposed and unsexy afterward.
People who came of age even just five years after we did had a completely different experience. These days, kids and young adults have easy access to digital cameras and cell phones that don’t care what kinds of photos you take. I can completely understand why hormonally-charged adolescents and post-adolescents would get off on sending sexy pictures of themselves to their boyfriends.
What’s unfortunate, though, is that the part of the brain that makes decisions and judgments is the last to develop, as I understand it. Doesn’t texting a sexy picture of yourself to your Significant Other sound pretty erotic? Sure it does — until you think one or two steps ahead. I know that there were plenty of times I was guilty of that sort of reasoning — well, not about sexy pictures, but about other things, like words said and notes written and homework ignored and classes skipped.
Is there a solution? Sure. Make sure your children understand the permanence of the internet, and teach them how to think critically and project the consequences of their actions. It’s not a quick and easy fix, like putting a content filter on your internet and TV, but it’s a thorough and responsible solution. I know I can’t really pass judgment, because I don’t have children; but I do know what my mother taught me about sex and responsibility, and what I learned on my own.
If I’d had a digital camera or a cameraphone back in 1997, would we have taken sexy pictures like we did with the Polaroid? I’m not sure we would have, since the novelty wouldn’t really have been there. If we had, though, they might have looked a little less… embarrassing.