Private may not always mean private

Some teens take part in sensual images through digital messages. The consequences of the messages are often overlooked, including being spread to unintended recipients.

Alone in her room, a teen girl is having a raunchy conversation with her boyfriend via text message. Unaware of the potential consequences, her boyfriend asks for a scandalous photo of her. She agrees, and she is unmindful of the trouble she could be getting herself into.

A common trend amongst teens and adults, sending nude photos has become more prevalent. With new advancements in technology every day, sending and receiving explicit photos has become easy enough for anyone to do.

Health and P.E. teacher Brooke Toy said anything online can be accessed nowadays.

“People can get into things so easily now; my email was recently hacked even,” Toy said.

Last month, nude celebrity photos leaked onto the Internet, photos of famous actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Victoria Justice. A mass-hacking of their iCloud accounts allowed countless personal photos to be released into the public eye.

Apple’s iCloud backs up any information the user would want saved if they were to lose their phone. An iPhone user with iCloud may take photos with their phone and have them directly upload to other devices, such as their computer. After the Sept. celebrity hackings, Apple amped up the security of the iCloud, requiring a four-digit code to access it.

Even if the user deletes the photos from their phone, the photos have already made their way to other locations the user has set the iCloud to.

“I would say nowadays that nothing is private anymore,” Toy said. “I feel like if you don’t want someone to find it, don’t have it at all.”

Senior Jessica* said sending nudes is okay, but can get out of hand very easily if precautions are not taken.

“It can get widespread really easily and really quickly,” Jessica said. “You should know who you’re sending them to and know they won’t be stupid about it.”

Jessica said people who release nude photos are the ones at fault.

“I think it is the hacker’s fault because that is an intrusion of privacy,” Jessica said.

Toy said nude photos being sent amongst teens will never completely stop.

“You can tell somebody until you’re blue in the face and they still don’t listen,” Toy said.

Jessica agreed.

“People will always do it, they just have to be more careful now,” Jessica* said.

Many teens realize they made a mistake once their pictures have been released. In some cases, law enforcement may need to get involved.

“It’s usually too late by the time they learn,” Toy said.

Senior Crew Berggren said students should be focusing on important issues in their lives, such as education, rather than sending nudes.

“They should be using their brain for school and for learning and being more intelligent creatures,” Berggren said.

In some cases, a leaked scandalous photo can have lethal consequences. In 2009, in Cincinnati, Ohio, 18 year old Jessica Logan committed suicide after her ex-boyfriend sent out a mass text of sexually explicit photos she had sent him while they were dating. Logan was harassed daily and, as a result, hanged herself in her bedroom.

“If problems like suicide can arise from it, I don’t think it’s an admissible problem.” Berggren said.

Although there are no certain resolutions to preventing teens from sending nude photos, Berggren said the easiest way to stop is to never start in the first place.

“I think people should just stop sending them,” Berggren said. “It’s disgusting.”