Sexting: we’ve all done it, despite whether or not we’re honest enough to admit it. Why do people do it? Enough people do it, so there’s got to be plenty of good reasons to, right? Well, yeah, sexting is fun and flirty, it’s sexy, and it’s totally trending right now. But, with nudity and technology comes some big issues that we should all take into consideration before sending a sext. There are a lot of negative, and even incriminating, consequences of sending sexy pictures that you need to know about. 

1.If you’re under 18, it’s considered illegal. 

What is more of a buzz kill than child pornography? But on the serious side, it’s a big deal and a big crime. If an individual under 18 sends a sexually explicit message or picture, they are creating and distributing child pornography. It doesn’t matter if an individual creates, distributes, or views child pornography; it is always considered a crime. No one wants to be in that situation, right? Sending or receiving a nude selfie picture from someone under 18 could leave a nasty permanent mark on your record, and that’s not something that’s easy to come back from. On an even darker note, child pornographers and child predators could get their hands on your picture, which is one of the absolute worst things that could happen. 

2. Your sext could land in the wrong hands.

With our technology today, a picture can be sent to an unlimited amount of people in an instant. The person you send a sexy picture to could end up being a total creepy and attention hungry weirdo, and they now have the potential to expose you to everyone. Be careful about the people you trust with something so personal. The guy or girl you think you have a connection with could turn out to be a completely different person. And if you think the person you send the picture won’t send it someone else, think again. A study concludes, “of those who reported receiving a sext, well over 25 percent said that they had forwarded it to someone else.”Don’t ever send a sext to someone unless they are someone you know you can trust. 

3. Your sext could follow you for the rest of your life.

Once any picture of yours is put out into the technological universe, it’s no longer yours to control. It’s truly out there forever! You might think you can delete it, but IT departments can retrieve deleted things from months, even years before. Not even Snapchat is safe; their servers have been hacked before, causing everyone's private pictures to be exposed. One picture simply isn’t worth haunting you for the rest of your life. 

4. Your reputation could be ruined. 

We, unfortunately, live in a society full of judgement and ridicule, that’s just a simple fact of life. A tarnished reputation can be crippling, especially for students in high school and college. Sending a naked picture could brand a girl as a “slut” and subject her to brutal gossip, teasing and even bullying. None of that is worth it just to send a nude picture to a crush or girlfriend/boyfriend. 

5. Sexting can lead to brutal bullying, and eventually, self harm. 

It’s a brutally sad but real consequence that sexting can lead to adolescents taking their own lives. A thirteen-year-old girl, Hope,from Florida, sent a topless picture of herself to a boy in hopes of getting attention, but, unfortunately, the picture got spread to numerous high schools. Hope endured so much brutal bullying that she could no longer tolerate it, and eventually took her own life. This is a sad reality that needs to be acknowledged; nothing can justify a young person taking their life.