There is no denying that the cell phone has irrevocably altered the way we relate to each other. It is now possible to stay almost constantly connected with people and phones can be used for nearly anything. People are really attached to their cell phones; according to Tyla Peakes’ article “What’s Sex Without A Cell Phone” one in three people would rather give up sex for a year than their cell phone.
The article also discusses the fact that many teens are finding out information about sex using their phones rather than by talking about it with their parents. Young people view their phones as more private and getting information via texting is a lot more similar to talking to friends than it is to getting a lecture from an adult. Though I think it is a perfectly reasonable way to get information, it is also important for parents to make sure that they have open communications with their children about sexual matters.
Even with the rise of the social networking site, cell phones still seem to be the best way to share information. I suspect that the fact that one can visit social networking sites on one’s phone has something to do with that.
Another interesting thing that we couldn’t do without cell phones is send “sexts” (let alone flirtatious texts). This article cites that 20% of teens have sent a nude or partially nude photograph of themselves and other sources have cited even higher figures. I find this to be an incredibly fascinating phenomenon. It is a fun way for adults to flirt, but gets a lot more complicated when teens are involved. Technically, possessing pictures of an underage significant other is child pornography, but it isn’t really something that lawmakers were considering when most child pornography law was drafted in the years before texting and camera-capable smart phones. The other issue is that young people are more likely to share the pictures with their friends and it is really easy for something that was meant to be a private message to go viral. There have been stories about the serious consequences associated with sexting. The consequences are important to consider, but I feel that as people and legislation adjust to the existence of new technology such stories will become less frequent.