James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘child crime’

Want to become a convicted sex offender? There’s an app for that

Posted by James McPherson on April 8, 2009

Apparently there’s a 20-percent chance that your teenager has engaged in “sexting”–using his or her cell phone to send nude or seminude photos to someone else. That could cost you thousands of dollars.

It also means your kid could end up in jail for a sex crime, or spend eternity on a list of register sex offenders for distributing child pornography. As cell phones and technology continue to improve, unfortunately, kids don’t get any smarter. Equally unfortnately, we parents and others old enough to know better haven’t gotten any better at figuring out how do deal with “kids gone bad.”

I’ve noted previously my aversion to certain forms of technology, and my concerns about uncertain definitions of what constitutes maturity. Perhaps nothing better illustrates the problems  resulting from the confluence of those two things than the “sexting” phenomenon. 

And nothing better illustrates why I’m glad such things as cell phones and Facebook didn’t exist when I was a kid. As a teenager I was no smarter than my peers then or my students of today. And you probably weren’t, either. For most of us–whether we choose to admit (or remember) it, or not–“getting lucky” has multiple meanings.

Posted in Education, History, Legal issues, Media literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »