Have you been sexting? Don’t lie and pretend you don’t know what it means. Sexting is a play on the words ‘sex’ and ‘text’. According to the highest rated definition on Urban Dictionary, sexting is a verb meaning “to text message someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit.”
The Wikipedia article on “sexting” has been around since 2006. It provides background information, a sociological perspective, past legal cases, legislative feedback, and its impact on pop culture. In relation to new media, I see sexting as another form of production and distribution of media. Being that the messages and/or pictures are coming from willing individuals, they are creating media to be consumed by another or others.
Not only does sexting relate to new media, but it relates to anyone who owns a mobile phone. So whether you’re looking for a casual hookup, enticing your long-distance lover, or a 13 year old girl who wants that boy from homeroom to like you, sexting affects us all in how we have transformed a technology such as a mobile phone to be more than just making and receiving phone calls.
The cited sources on “sexting” can be broken down into three categories: local news coverage on allegations and trials, advocacy groups against teen pregnancy and bullying, and opinionated blogs and articles. With that being so, this article does portray sexting in a negative light that shines on child pornography, angry parents, lawsuits, and high school drama. Nowhere in the article does it talk about the “advantages” or “pros” of sexting. It doesn’t talk about the many reasons why people might be engaging in it. Rather, it just talks about the crazy legal issues. It’s not that we should be concerned with sexting among the youth generation. You wouldn’t be able to describe “pornography” with just issues of child pornography because there’s a bigger and better side to it, too! Maybe it’s a way long-distance couples stay together. Maybe it’s a more secure way of sending sexually explicit material than e-mail. Maybe it can be a way to abstain from sex since neither party is clearly getting any that night if they’re sending sexual text and/or picture messages.
The discussion page on “sexting” was a forum for debating the neutrality of the article. While one party did not see the article as neutral since its content was from anyone “all up in arms”, another party went right ahead to remove the neutrality dispute tag.
In any case, in terms of Wikipedia as a form of technically-organized, collaboratively-produced knowledge, I think it is the fairest battlefield of them all. I like the idea of sharing knowledge without violence, war, or terrorism. I like the idea that if you disagree about something, your weaponry is to provide proof from primary and secondary resources instead of throwing punches in the air.