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Paradise by the Cell Phone Light

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Yeah I know—bad pun for the title. Except is it really? Meatloaf is in a commercial selling the GoPhone. He plays the dad with a son whining about getting a cell phone. Okay that’s kind of normal, since kids today think that the world might end if you take their cell phones away for even an hour and a half. (I’ve done it, the world did not end but the fourteen-year-old was having a little withdrawal.)

What’s creepy about this commercial is that it’s a take-off of Meatloaf’s song “Paradise by the Dash Board Light” which is a racy song (even though I still like the song) about two high school kids negotiating their impending sexual encounter. Then they have all these other weird sexual innuendos in the background such as Tiffany playing Mom wearing a too tight blouse and carrying a big hunk of raw meat.

But I only bring up this commercial as an example of what is really creeping me out about cell phones today. It’s the new form of social interaction especially among teenagers (and I’ve heard some adults, too). Kids send nude photos of themselves to their intended boyfriend/girlfriend in the hopes of luring them to date. (Flowers always worked for me.)

Note to moms and dads: Sometimes these pictures are then downloaded on the Internet to be emailed and posted on other seemingly innocent sites. Which can then be viewed BY THE ENTIRE WORLD!

Note to children and others that do it: Did you know that potential colleges, employers, and everyone IN THE ENTIRE WORLD can gain access to these pictures?

So besides the obvious insanity of children taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them to friends, it’s also illegal. Anyone ever hear of the Child Pornography Laws?

Here in Virginia (and I’m sure every state has them) there are specific laws that prohibit this activity. Any taking of a sexually explicit picture of a child is “manufacturing child pornography.” Then the transmission (sending of that picture electronically or otherwise) is “distribution of child pornography.” Possessing these pictures is “possession of child pornography.” That includes pictures of anyone under the age of eighteen. It’s a “FELONY” and carry punishments ranging from five to twenty-five years in prison.

Oh wait! Did you think I was telling you this to just warn you about the hazards of your naked ass ending up on some pedophile’s computer? Um, well, that is one point I wanted to make. The other is that police are arresting the teenagers, too. When they take the picture (manufacturing) and then send it (transmission) and then keep it on their phones or computers (possession), it’s a felony.

So parents, what should you do? I have no idea what to tell you except TALK to your kids and make sure they understand the short and long-term consequences of their actions.

Personally, I am horrified at the sexuality of our youth these days. Yeah, when I went to school you always heard about some slutty girl doing something with the boys. But that was the exception not the rule. Sex is for people that can handle it and that’s adults. 

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