Egad! Now they're "sexting"
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Ron Cruger
Back when I was a teenager, shortly after the founding of fire and just previous to the invention of the wheel, I found that my hormones were growing at an alarming rate.
          Of course, when I had reached my teenage years I didn’t know what a hormone was. All I knew was that my mother would look at me as I prepared to leave the house and walk to school she would say, “Be careful son, your hormones are beginning to rage.” I trusted my mother, but I had no idea of what she was referring to.
          I knew that I felt clumsy, I had acquired a sudden interest in combing my hair and I had grown five whiskers on the right hand side of my chin. I also had begun noticing that the girls in my high school looked different to me. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I think it had something to do with those hormones of which my mother spoke.
          Pimples were making their appearance on my face. I was beginning to bathe my face in Noxzema each night to avert the further spread of the feared and hated “zit.”
          My mother was right. My hormones were raging.
          My teenage friends and I never spoke about our hormones, but we did speak of girls. We spoke of the physical changes the girls were undergoing. That we noticed. 
          There was a stirring in our bodies. 
          The girls were now wearing sweaters and shorter skirts. They had legs and other parts of their bodies were developing. 
          We gaped and stared at these blossoming creatures. We ogled and got excited, but none of us participated in any sexual activity with these young beauties. We had no idea of what to do. We were afraid to even think of “going all the way.” Truth be told, we weren’t sure what “going all the way” really meant. In those early years there was one primal fear…a girl becoming pregnant. Youthful pregnancy meant the end of our innocence. It pretty much meant the end of our lives. But there was little fear of pregnancy because we were so totally ignorant of the real facts of life. There was still that thread of ignorant innocence that kept us a distance from girls our age. We teased and kidded, but we were miles away from participating in any sexual experience with girls our age, or any age.
          We were the ignorant, innocent, naďve, pimply and frustrated generation. We kept Noxzema in business. 
          There is little resemblance to the youth of today.
          Kids today have watched television and movies. They’ve spent hundreds of hours on their computers. They carry iPhones and watch instructional programs while sitting in their school bus. They know what their hormones do, they understand their bodies and they know what to do with them.
          And now they have “sexting” to help them achieve their dreams.
          “Sexting” is described as “The act of texting messages or photos with someone in hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later.”
          In plain language “sexting” is sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chatting by cell phone or online.
          In those dark ages of our youth a crush on a girl would sometimes lead us to write a note to the girl asking if we could “have lunch together” or talk to each other after class. Today a teenager flirts by sending a nude or semi-nude photo from cell phone to cell phone instead of texting – it’s called “sexting.”
          These nude photos, intended for a boyfriend or girlfriend often wind up being shared with dozens of other teenagers.
          And then the social networking kicks in – it spreads like wildfire.
          A nude photo can be sent to a teenager’s phone and that person may upload the photos to their Facebook or MySpace page for millions to see.
          In a landmark case a seventeen year old was charged with possessing child pornography after he posted naked pictures of his sixteen year old ex-girlfriend online.
          Quite a change in the life of a teenager compared to the dark ages of my schooling.
          What’s scary is what one teenager recently said, “I personally don’t see “sexting” as that big of a problem. Everybody does it.” If a boy meets a girl on summer break he comes back to school and shows all his friends the naked pictures he’s been sent. No one gives it that much thought. 
          The nonprofit National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has been researching the issue of “sexting.”
          And I was worried about finding a couple of new whiskers, combing my hair and putting Noxzema on a newly discovered pimple.
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