Should teens be jailed for "sexting"?

Photo Credit: Getty ImagesPhoto Credit: Getty ImagesI was really thrilled (insert eye roll) to read about a new trend amongst teens. It's called "sexting" and involves teens sending nude pictures of themselves via text message to their friends.

Where to begin?

According to a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys admit to posting nude/partially nude photos OR videos of themselves online, or sending this content via text messaging. Fifteen percent of those teens said they sent "sexually suggestive content" to someone they only knew online.

It frightens me that sexting is becoming common among teenagers. If terrifies me that we're not surprised.

It bothers me that teens don't think enough of themselves to take nude photos of their bodies and post them in public forums, or email them to a boyfriend/girlfriend and hope that those love shots will stay private. According to the survey, 44 percent of teen girls and boys say they know it's common that these photos/messages get shared with other people. And yet, they still snap the photos and send them off. Seriously, show some pride and self-respect.

It annoys me that while sexting is common among teenagers, it's probably their parents who are footing the bill for this activity since they usually pay for texting/cell phone services. Hey Mom and Dad, do you know what your kids are sending to their friends?

And this comment bugs me to no end: "What's the big deal? Don't be so uptight." Um, see above. And? If a boy sent your daughter a photo of his naked crotch, I'm guessing you'd be pretty upset.

Some teens who have been caught sexting have been criminally charged with child pornography and indecency. These teens could actually serve jail time. It's tragic.

So the million dollar question is: Should teens serve jail time for sexting? Should it be a felony charge of child pornography? And what do you think would be an appropriate punishment?