Sexting isn’t that big of a deal, right?

Not so fast—sending pics minus clothes is actually not as harmless as many in our generation think it to be.

Time to drop some statistics. According to some reports, at least 40% of today’s teens are involved in sending and receiving sexually suggestive messages through the smart devices that we’re all constantly glued to. About 22% of teen girls report sending semi-nude or nude pics, and 18% of boys have as well. And 17% of sexters share the messages they receive with another person, and 55% of those share them with multiple people.

Bottom line: our generation is sexting a lot. If you’re on the receiving end of a nudes request, is there any way to stop this?

Well, there just might be. And in a way that might lighten the mood, too.

Send This Instead is an awesome app that provides great graphics to use in response to awkward sext inquiries. For example, imagine you’re chilling on your couch at night, watching the latest episode of your favorite show on Netflix and a message lights up on your phone. Turns out it is from a crush who you’ve been texting, and he/she asks you for nudes.

Thanks to Send This Instead, here are some images that you can send in reply:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.12.45 PM  Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.11.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.10.35 PM

Pretty funny stuff, eh?

We think so too.

But all joking aside, sexting has actually become a major problem in society.

The Problem With Pressing “Send”

The truth is, sexting and porn are inseparably linked. And in many cases, it equals child pornography. That’s right, by law, minors (anyone under 18) who are caught sending, possessing, or distributing (i.e. sharing with friends) nude pictures, can face major criminal charges. It has gotten to the point in the U.S. where some states have enacted bills to protect minors from sexting, and an additional 13 states have proposed bills to legislation.

Those are some serious, life-changing problems for a split second decision like pressing “send.”

Like we mentioned at the beginning of the article, these sexts rarely just stay with the receiver. Most share the intended “private” pictures with their friends and even online. Which leads us to talk about the huge phenomenon happening on the internet right now that is really, really not cool. It’s now infamously known as “revenge porn.”

Related: This Study Reveals A Shocking 87% Of Respondents Think Revenge Porn Is Funny

Revenge porn sites are just like any other porn sites, except for one scary twist: the pictures are of regular everyday people who once sent naked or sexually explicit pictures/videos of themselves to someone they trusted, only to later have those images posted online for all to see. (Remember, just because you break up with someone, doesn’t mean the images you sent them while you were together are magically erased from their phone.)

For example, one victim of revenge porn was a girl who sent naked pictures of herself to her boyfriend. Several months and a bad breakup later, the boyfriend decided to get his ex-girlfriend back by posting those pictures on revenge porn websites that could then be viewed, downloaded, and saved. Getting those pictures back off the internet is like getting a grain of sand back from the ocean. Once something is on the world wide web, it’s pretty much out there for good. It is extremely difficult to completely remove images from something as viral and as ever-changing as the internet.

And probably the worst part about all of this is that a lot of times, the victims of revenge porn don’t even know their pictures have been put online in the first place.

Sexting Isn’t Worth It

So, the next time you’re in a situation where this seemingly harmless exchange of images is about to go down, remember how pressing that send button can never be taken back. Sexting can open up a door to a much more serious world of child pornography and revenge porn that can end up seriously damaging the lives of real people—including yours.

RelatedHow Revenge Porn Has Become Digital Sex Slavery

Bottom line: Sending and receiving nude/sexual pics or vids isn’t a smart idea. Either you’re under 18 and at risk of child pornography charges or you’re over 18 and at risk of having your photos posted online for the entire world to see.

Neither are good options.

Basically, be like this Fighter who sent us a screenshot of a text he received from a spam account a while ago:

image

Well played, man. Well played.

Get Involved

If you’re not cool with sexting and what it can lead to, SHARE this article to help spread the word. Get the facts about the harms of pornography and take a stand.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography and stopping the demand for sexual exploitation. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

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