The former congressman Anthony Weiner, who in 2011, tweeted risqué photos of himself to several women who were not his wife, is still dealing with the consequences of the scandal that led to his resignation from Congress.
“I paid a high price,” he said in a 2012 interview and laments, “great regret for the people that I let down.”
It is easy for adults to warn teenagers about the dangers of “sexting” or the use of technology to send provocative photos or texts via a cell phone or computer. Unfortunately, adults may not heed their own advice. A Harris Interactive poll found that
Psychologists believe adult sexting allows for the person to feel powerful. Since the sexting is not done face-to-face, there is a sense of freedom and control. A woman can send a flirty photo from her bedroom believing she is safe and can manage any response that may come back to her. Unless . . . she accidently sends it to wrong person, the receiver of the photo uses it for blackmail, or the photo is posted online for her boss, husband, and children to view.
Psychologists also believe adult sexting allows for “unlimited partners.” Before this technology, flirting or cheating was in proportion to who you knew in your social sphere. With Twitter and Facebook, you can be “naughty” with someone on the other side of the world and think it is harmless.
However, sexting is not harmless. The Internet Keep Safe Coalition offers a list of the consequences. Here are few examples:
It would be interesting if a poll was taken to see how many of the adults who sext also have a Bible app on their smartphone or a Bible next to their computer or tablet. For Christ followers, technology may have changed but the moral value of purity has not. God’s instructions for Christians are clear: avoid any sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3–8). This refers to not only the sinful action but also the thought of it as well (Matt. 5:27–28). Like the Old Testament King David, who from his roof watched another man’s wife bathe, Christians may think that a little sexy email or photo won’t hurt anyone. David didn’t imagine his illicit thoughts would lead to adultery and murder either (2 Sam. 11).