Monday, April 14, 2008

Teens like to see other teens naked (GASP)

It's all over the news today this week. It's a story that I'm not at all surprised to see. It would appear that teenagers are sending pictures of themselves to each other using their cellphones, and most likely IM applications. The issue that has raised the ire of -- well, almost everyone, is that these are NAKED pictures -- and videos. I'd imagine, as the article here suggests, that a pictures or video is quickly sent around a group of friends and will eventually make it out into the wild. It may have already happened, and there may be places on the Internet to find these explicit videos. I certainly hope there isn't.
There is one thing that I find ridiculous though. The story I linked to states that the principal of one school where the students are participating in this trend doesn't get it. "They don't see any thing wrong with it, it leaves me speechless."
It should be a bit of a surprise, but to be left speechless, to be utterly dumbfounded by this turn of events only shows how out of touch adults are with the lives and times of the teenagers of this Internet age. It's simply preposterous to think that teenagers will have at their disposal the tools that allow them to communicate with voice, images and video and not use it to transfer sexually explicit content. Using themselves as the subject is simply a natural progression. A teenager in the world today is bombarded with sex, and is caught up in his or her own sexual awakening. To them it's natural, and in someways may be healthy. The danger of course, I alluded to earlier. These images and videos will find their way onto the internet at large, and their explicit nature will begin a political king-of-the-hill battle to see who can pass the most laws the fastest. It has already begun with the bullying and beating of teenagers videos that have made their way onto YouTube. It's simply a retelling of the bum fight videos and every other type of offensive content to be discovered on the internet. It's a good thing that these media types seem to never have heard of 'tubgirl' or the other rick-rolling images and videos that seem to pop up every few weeks... We might not have an Internet at all if they did.
I'm going to read more about this story, and see which way the winds are blowing but I predict that any historical evidence of this happening with traditional media (magazines, video tapes, etc) will be ignored or glossed over and the 'absolute insanity' 'danger to the health and well-being' of our teenagers will be glossed over because this 'Has Never Happened Before And The Scale And Ability To Access This Type Of Thing Has Been Expanded Into Infinity Thanks To Devices Like Cell Phones And The Internet!' So, the answer you and I will be hearing over the next week or so will be that children need more protection from the government, and the way to do that is to 1)Ban all cellphones in schools 2)force YouTube to filter content and remove/punish anyone who posts anything 3)Tack on some arbitrary official-looking data from some researcher that positively proves that anyone under the age of 18 who ever sees a nipple will be scarred for life and become a sex-pervert, run away from home and pick up where Jack-The-Ripper left off.
Update: In this article a member of the FBI Cyber Crime in Ohio seems to think that the teens doing this sort of thing are laboring under a belief that
"You name it, they will do it at their home under this perceived anonymity."
If I may use the internet meme -- LOL! I'd like to interview a few of the guys and girls doing this and ask them how far they think, or hope, that these pics and vids will go. I'd bet that most of them have no reservations that their recordings will make the rounds in their school, and perhaps, even to the internet at large. (if they're not posting directly to the internet themselves that is.)

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