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1 Densen, Rebecca Densen October 1, 2011 ENG 201_G1 Soma S. Feldmar "Sexting: Do Teens Really Understand?

My assignment is to construct an argument having to do with technology. My argument is that sexting is an issue because of the teens that obtain phones without truly understanding the consequences. What can I do to fix my paper (has to be 3-5 pgs) and convey my argument more clearly?
1 Densen, Rebecca Densen October 1, 2011 ENG 201_G1 Soma S. Feldmar “Sexting: Do Teens Really Understand?” The new era we are currently in revolves around technology. Adults are adapting to it, children are brought up with it, and it is making our world easier and smaller. Although new technology does have a lot of benefits it has caused a lot of issues as well. Technology is now given to young children and teens without and understanding of the many dangers of it. Among these new technologies are cell phones, and one danger that can come from cell phone use that is often misunderstood is the practice of what is now called “sexting.” Sexting is sending and receiving a sexual photo or video via text message (Dobias). These images can unknowingly get sent around to anyone and can ruin someone’s reputation, career, or even their life. The individuals involved are mainly children or teens, who might not understand that because this technology makes the world smaller, it can lessen the privacy they believe to have, and in many ways is illegal. Sexting has become an issue in society because cell phones are given to children and teens before they understand the dangers and responsibility that comes with it. “Sexting” is the term now given to the sending or receiving of sexual images or videos via text messaging (Dobias). This term was brought to the public’s attention after a 15-year-old girl in Ohio faced child pornography charges for sending a revealing photo of herself in 2008. Although the charges were dropped if she completed a diversion program, she revealed how common this practice is amongst teens and brought a new issue to light (Clark-Flory). What teens do not understand about this practice is that it is illegal in many ways. The law is that if you
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2 are under the age of 18 the sending or receiving these images is illegal, and is considered child pornography. Even if you are of age and are sending them to someone under the age of 18 it is illegal and considered distribution of pornography to a minor (Celizic). Because of the child pornography charges involved, participating in this is a serious felony and can result in jail time (““Sexting” Shockingly Common Among Teens,” CBS News). To make matters worse for those involved you will also become a registered sex offender for the next 20 years without even having as much as a parking ticket on your record prior to the incident. This caused many lawmakers to not know what to do with these cases, they do not know if it is fair to label a child a sex offender for this or not (Koch). They aren’t even sure if jail time is an appropriate punishment because of how many teens sext today (“Sexting,” NetSmartz Workshop). Teens are constantly getting caught sexting because many do not understand the consequences they can face. Take 18-year-old Isaac Owusu from Burlington Vt. for example he faces 90 days in prison, 5 years probation and is a registered sex offender for receiving a video of two of his 16-year-old female friends performing sexual acts on each other and a nude photo of one of the girls (“Teen Gets Jail In ‘Sexting’ Case,” WPTZ). Because he may not have understood the legal consequences of his actions he continually participated in sexting. The New York Times conducted an interview with teens of all ages, asking them about sexting, one of the questions asked was, if they knew sexting was illegal. One responded, “There’s a law? I didn’t know that. How would you catch somebody when everyone does it?” (“What They’re Saying About Sexting,” The New York Times). This shows that many aren’t even aware of the illegal acts that are being committed. On top of that the individual asked the question how they could ever get caught, showing that many feel I will not get caught so it is not that big of an issue. The truth is anyone could get caught in various ways, from the image being sent out to a variety of people
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This question was asked on Oct 11, 2011.

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