Technology has improved a lot since I was in high school. I remember when Snake was the pinnacle of entertainment that one could play on his or her phone. Now, I run an emulator on my smart phone so that I can play Legend of Zelda, Pokémon or Golden Sun. However, this rapid improvement can be a double-edge sword. My first phone did not have a camera, and my second one took pictures with roughly the same prowess as a potato.
Now, my phone can take high quality pictures that correct for light and movement, or even take a video in slow motion. It is great using my phone to take photos of monuments and art collections and videos of my niece crying after she remembers that she does not remember who I am. The phone can be used for many reasons and by many people. Teenagers use their phones constantly, as it allows them to keep in touch with each other without interruption or oversight by their parents.
This lack of oversight can cause many problems, as many 16 and 17 year olds have learned, to their dismay. There have been a couple cases in North Carolina recently where teenagers are being charged for taking naked pictures of themselves and sending them to their boyfriend or girlfriend. They are being charged for sexual exploitation of a minor. This charge can land them on the sex offender list, causing long lasting ramifications that hamper their ability to find employment or a place to live.
It is ridiculous that teens can be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, when they are the person being “exploited.” Even more ridiculous is that some are being charged as an adult. They are both adults and minors when it comes to the law. Adults who deserve to be horribly punished, yet minors who need to be protected from adults.
Hormones run hot when you are a teenager, and this is especially true for teenager Cormega Copening and his girlfriend, Brianna Denson. Like most couples, they were sexually interested in each other, and they shared explicit pictures over text. After police searched through Cormega’s phone for a reason not yet shared and found the texts, they were both charged with sexual exploitation.
Denson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and got 12 months of probation, while Copening is still facing two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation and three counts of third-degree exploitation, according to the Fay Observer. The charges against Copening come from the pictures he took of himself. It seems like an incredible oversight that someone can get charged for exploiting themselves.
Technology can change things drastically over the years, and the laws need to understand and respect this. It seems ridiculous that kids are being charged for having pictures of themselves. There were good intentions when the laws were set up. Putting teenagers on the sex offender list will surely protect them from the vicious predators who prey on them. Locking teenagers in jail, keeping them away from their peers and forcing them to live in a limited area will definitely protect them from predators, and keep predators away from their prey.
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