Sexting & The College Student [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 31-05-2012

Sexting & The College Student [INFOGRAPHIC] sexting MakeUseOf has previously published several infographics on texting, such as when texting celebrated its 19th birthday Happy 19th Birthday Text Messaging [INFOGRAPHIC] It’s hard to believe but it has been just over 19 years since the first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone, and 18 years since the first phones were produced... Read More , when we showed teens and their texting habits, and how SMS messaging is changing the world How SMS Messaging Is Changing The World [INFOGRAPHIC] It's become the most common form of communication on the planet and the number one occupation of teenagers everywhere. That's right, I'm talking about text messaging (SMS) which, quite often, is the best way to... Read More . But one texting-related subject that I haven’t approached yet (mainly because I didn’t want my boss to fire me for turning MakeUseOf into Hustler magazine) is “sexting”.

For those of you who don’t know what this is (but it’s pretty obvious from the word itself), it’s when you send a text message to someone with either sexually explicit text, a sexually explicit picture, or both. And it seems like this practice is on the rise (although all the ones to me must be getting caught up in a spam filter somewhere because I don’t seem to be getting any of them…).

According to today’s infographic (courtesy of, two-thirds of US students have sent sexually suggestive messages via their mobile phone. Those smartphone cameras have a lot to answer for! Just because you can take a photo…..

So…time to confess….have you ever sexted someone? Or has someone ever sexted you? Was it wanted or unwanted? Do you agree that this is a rapidly growing problem which has the potential to cause real problems, or do you look upon it as a bit of harmless fun?  Reveal all in the comments!

Related topics: Infographic, SMS.

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  1. Imya Last
    October 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Texting while driving is real problem.

  2. Alan
    July 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    The only disturbing thing about this story really is that 93 percent of college students sext or text while driving. How stupid are our college students?

    • Mark O'Neill
      July 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      They obviously don't get taught common sense at college :-)

  3. Laga Mahesa
    June 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Pffft. 'Sexting' has been around for millenia. The only things different now are the speed of delivery, higher quality artwork, and horrific spelling.

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Hmmm...true. But somehow I don't think a pencil sketching of your private parts has quite the same effect as a full colour blown-up photograph!! LOL! :-)

      • Laga Mahesa
        June 1, 2012 at 9:44 am

        Have you SEEN some of those woodcuts?! You're right... now. Back then, though, the effect was as it is now. A major to-do if anyone found out, and an even bigger to-do when word first spread that they even existed.

  4. Jon Smith
    May 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I find sexting quite unnecessary I mean its a phone for goodness sakes!

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Between two consenting adults, I don't see the problem. It's a private communication. But unwanted sexts from a person displaying stalker-like behaviour? That's where the issues start.

  5. Alex
    May 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Regarding: "Do you agree that this is a rapidly growing problem..."

    This is based off of a survey of 204 college students

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

      the infographic yes. But if you look at mainstream media reports (the BBC and CNN have reported on sexting for example), they have said also that sexting is becoming a growing problem. Men are becoming registered sex offenders because they sent a sext to their girlfriend who happens to be one year or less under the age of consent.

  6. Joel Lee
    May 31, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I've sent one or two sexts in my time. It wasn't as exciting as I'd thought it would be. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 31, 2012 at 10:23 am

      yeah me too. It was all a bit anti-climatic for me (no pun intended).

  7. Quimby
    May 31, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Our favorite part of this infographic are the stats on sexting with couples in relationships. As Dan mentions - good people can choose sexting as a way to keep a little spark in their relationship. There is a stigma around it that feels outdated.
    When we made Quimby Messenger, couples who send intimate messages and photos were a real target for us - giving people privacy for private moments.

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thanks. I'll take a look at Quimby (not that I will need it much for many "private moments"!)

  8. Andrew Gould
    May 31, 2012 at 3:30 am

    No. But I did once tweet a picture of my shorts to an anonymous throwaway account in support of Congressman Anthony Weiner...

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

      And I bet he appreciated the support!!! :-)

  9. Dan
    May 31, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I'm embarrassed to say this but my wife (a devout Catholic no less) sends me graphic sext messages while I'm at work. Talk about a productivity killer!

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Curiously enough, I've often found that Catholic women (or women of any religion really) are the ones who would be up for trying this, more than non-religious women.

      Maybe it's their small act of rebellion for being raised in a strictly religious environment all their life, where something like sexting would be considered "forbidden" and "sinful"?

      • Izz...
        June 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

        Agree with the rebellion. We humans do what is forbid and wouldn't want to do what is told so. :)