In light of recent revelations about celebrities having their phones or clouds hacked, I have been thinking a lot about the danger of naked photos – whether “selfies” or couple shots. I totally get why people are excited about the idea of sending and receiving these pictures – it can be a fun way to spice up a couple’s sex life. The problem is we don’t often think about the dangers in these choices. Oftentimes, these behaviors are more common among younger, more impulsive people who may be less likely to think through possible consequences.
My friends from college and I recently posted some pictures from the college on Facebook for Throw Back Thursday. The pictures were silly and somewhat embarrassing, but we each made sure not to post anything that was inappropriate. There were lots of comments about how we each had such pictures of each other, but agreed posting them would be “mutual destruction” as everyone had “ammunition”. I even joked I could guarantee none of us could ever run for president because of the potential scandal. The bright side was that these are not on the internet. They are photos only accessible to us. We can control who gets to see them and even in college when we were “slightly” more stupid, they could only be shared personally, but not globally. We were lucky. I think we might have been impulsive enough to share them on the internet back then, but then it wasn’t an option for us.
When I was younger, if people wanted to take “intimate pictures” they had two choices:
- Use a regular camera and send the film off to be developed at a photo lab somewhere. My roommate in college worked at one of those photo labs and I can promise people did this. How do I know? My roommate would make copies of the most interesting photos and bring them home so we could make fun of them. (We were young and not-so-mature at the time).
- Pros: Cameras were easy to use and they were not uploaded to the internet.
- Cons: Someone (like my roommate) has to develop the pictures. There are photos of you “out there” to be discovered – might even be the copies you and your partner have.
- Buy a Polaroid camera which would instantly spit out the developed pictures. Do you remember Polaroid cameras? There is a picture below for your reference.
- Pros: No need to send it out for developing. Instant photo viewing.
- Cons: The pictures are still potentially floating around in the universe. Not something you want your mom to discover when she is going through your drawers!
Things are very different now! Technology has advanced which gives you so many more options, but each has their own risks and rewards:
- Digital Cameras: You can take pictures, view them instantly on the camera’s viewing screen, upload to your computer and edit and print desired copies.
- Pros: Instant gratification. Editing options. Can email or upload copies.
- Cons: Might email to the wrong person! Can be sent throughout the internet. Can be shared with limitless numbers of people. Lose the camera and the photos can be recovered. Once posted, they never really go away. The person with whom you share the photos could share them with the world.
- Cell Phone Cameras: Everyone’s cell phone has a camera these days and they are always handy and around.
- Pros: Readily available. Editing options. Amazing numbers of filters and lighting options. Can email, text, upload and transmit in unlimited numbers of ways.
- Cons: Once a photo is shared, you cannot control where it goes from there. If the phone is lost, stolen or sent out for repairs, you have no control over what happens to the pictures.
So, what is the point of all of this? I want you to take a moment to think before you act. Don’t take any pictures you wouldn’t be OK with your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your future bosses and future children to see. TMZ is unlikely to be posting about it online, but it can quickly spread around your school, your community and your world. I have had this happen to a number of patients and it rarely ends well.