Our principal warned us not to give our locker combination to anyone. "Your best friend now may not be your best friend in June." That stuck with me, and the recent picture leaks of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities takes me back to that. These are pictures that were supposed to be private, but they're not anymore and never will be again. Now with smartphones we take pictures of ourselves and send them to those we trust. And it's fine . . . until it's not.
Think of how mad you get after someone "betrays" you, whether it's your parents or siblings or friends. You passive-aggressively "forget" to take out the trash or pick your sister up from school or invite a friend to a party. Over what? Anything, like your parents yelling at you for not taking out the trash or your sister not picking you up from school or not being invited to a party. It's petty and stupid, but we do that kind of stuff, even to those we really care about.
Now imagine someone doing something REALLY bad and legitimately pissing you off. If your best friend turns his back on you or spreads a really embarrassing secret, then do you think that you're going to have any problem with doing the same? I don't care how high and mighty you are, you're going to get your revenge. You wouldn't have a problem posting his locker combination online or letting his girlfriend know about that night that you two agreed never happened. You're mad, and you're going to get even. Will you be mad forever? Nah, and you'll probably make up, but that information is out there forever.
If you're sending nudes to the current love of your life, and then you break up, that person still has those pictures of you. What's stopping him or her from showing their friends or your new boo? Nothing. They're no longer protecting some thing intimate between two people in a committed relationship, because that committed relationship is gone. Those pictures are out there, forever. Your new boyfriend will see them, your friends will see them.
Think about it: If your own mom will show your friends that baby picture that she SWORE she never would show anyone, then do you really think an ex isn't going to pull the same thing? Come on.
This isn't just a woman's issue, either. Taking and sending those pictures of you at full salute have the exact same results. Being a guy doesn't protect you. Just ask Anthony Weiner or Brett Favre how that worked out for them.
The worst part of all of these things is that you don't even need to have someone intentionally leak them in order for the world to see them, hence what's going on with JLaw (I can't believe I just wrote that) and all of those other celebrities. They, like everyone else, got a false sense of security due to having a password on their stuff. Well, if your password is "password" or something dumb like that, then it might as well not be there. Sometimes people have their browsers and phones save their passwords, which kind of defeats the purpose altogether. Leave your computer on or lose your phone and they're completely out there.
Remember: Once it's out there, it's out there for good. Deleting it from your phone doesn't delete it from anyone you sent it to.
There are apps like Snapchat that make messages and pictures delete themselves after 10 seconds. Well, someone can still take a screenshot. And I really don't want to find out that you're silly enough to tell me that app tells you if someone screenshots your message. What does that matter? I have a screenshot of a Snapchat message that someone sent me. You know what the picture was? A screenshot of the "it tells you if someone screenshots your message, so don't worry about security" policy. How'd that work out? If you send someone a nude and they screenshot it, then what, exactly, are you going to do about it? Nothing. Just having an alert telling you it happened doesn't delete it from their phone.
Oh, and just a tiny little thing for those teenagers sending each other nudes: It's child pornography. Yes, that picture that your girlfriend sent you after Homecoming still counts as child porn regardless of whether you're a child receiving it or not. Share it with someone else, and you're distributing child pornography. Think I'm joking? Even gold medal-winning gymnast/meme star McKayla Maroney could be facing child porn charges for pictures of HERSELF. Think the stress of getting good grades as a junior is rough? Yeah, good luck getting into college with everyone else while you're celebrating your 21st birthday finally being released from jail. Oh, and your first stop once you change out of that orange jumpsuit? Registering as a sex offender. Forever.
And if you've already sent the pictures? Don't freak out, just don't do it again. Like I said, they're out there. Don't send more. And if someone's threatening to show them to others? Let them know about that distribution of child pornography charge that's waiting for them along with charges for blackmail.
So, yeah, don't send that topless picture to your future ex-boyfriend or a dick pic (sorry older crowd, that's what they're called called) to your fling of the moment. It's not worth the horrible embarrassment later on or the felony on your record. Just like with sex, if he or she is pressuring you to do it, then you're not in the right relationship. That's not him or her asking you to do something out of love; that's just being an asshole.
Don't take the picture. It will get out. You will regret it. And while you may think that you look hot in that selfie, you'll look terrible in your mugshot.