I'm soooo glad there was no social media around when I was a teen. While I was a pretty good kid who probably wouldn't have gone as far as some of them do, I did have my moments. Like that time I took a picture of my 12-year-old self in hot pants, sprawled out on my family's couch, giving what I thought was a seductive look to the camera. I then sent it to a rock star I worshipped at the time. It got sent back from some reason, and mortifyingly it was an elderly relative of mine who received the letter, opened it, and saw my "child pornography." Nowadays, instead of just having a memory so cringeworthy I still get tingles of embarrassment decades later, I'd probably get arrested. For if you're a kid who takes sexy selfies -- and who knows why kids do these things, not all of them even have a clue what sex is -- there's a good chance you can get arrested for distributing child pornography. Just like a 16-year-old girl in Virginia did.
The girl reportedly took some nude pics of herself and put them on Twitter. I'm telling you, these kids, they've grown up with Twitter. They simply do not understand that it's public -- or, if they do, the word "public" doesn't mean the same thing to them that it does to you and me. They think social media exists inside their head.
Anyway, someone tipped off the cops and she was arrested in charges of distributing child pornography. She also apparently sent them to a couple of boys at her school via her cellphone. If these teens passed the photos along, they too could be arrested. No word on whether they will be arrested for looking at them.
Sounds like the girl could use some counseling (why does she feel she needs everyone to see her naked?) but arrested? Since she will be charged as a juvenile she will apparently not have to register as a sex offender -- and good thing because that would follow her around forever. She wouldn't be able to get certain types of jobs, not live in certain areas.
Parents need to talk to their kids about the severe consequences of this kind of thing -- but whatever happened to a warning? Do we just jump to an arrest on with such a serious charge now?
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It's natural for kids and teens to be curious about sex and their sexuality and their sexual power. What isn't "natural" is the Internet -- whatever naked photos they may regret 10 years later could be out there forever. So teens definitely need a lesson in keeping these things private.
But child pornography charges are nothing to take lightly. Surely, there could be some lesser charge for her. Like maybe assault with a stupid weapon?
Do you think she should have been arrested?
Image via Frederic Cirou/Corbis