Leaving aside the alarming realisation that posterity no longer means 'for future generations' so much as 'for my instagram followers within the next hour, depending on how many other people they follow', it is suddenly the norm, nay a Raison d'Ãªtre (I'm Instagrammed, therefore I am) to get your face out there. Which seems to have caused a peculiar confusion when it comes to what it is to own an image, or indeed your own image.
Which brings us, meanderingly, to what is called revenge porn. We find ourselves constantly fiddling with Facebook privacy settings (which they fiddle right back - you're ok with appearing on an ad for no money right? Your face is out there!) so that potential bosses don't see any photos of us drinking neat vodka from a penis straw at a hen do, but that they can see images of us having a good time because we want to market ourselves as fun and well rounded. It's just hard to work out which photos show you using your initiative and working well in a group but also being comfortable working alone. A naked selfie in which you are posing provocatively does not demonstrate these employable qualities.
It's why those sexted selfies are usually sent to a trusted individual and not put up online #thisiswhatIlooklikenaked, pls RT. PSRE classes are now acknowledging social media and the speed at which an image can be shared online. The main message is, of course, simply don't take these compromising shots, and definitely don't share them if you do.
It's just hard to work out which photos show you using your initiative and working well in a group but also being comfortable working alone.
You don't have to be a teenager to know it's not that simple. As a former school loner I think it's possible that peer pressure can be seen as a privilege. We also know that intimacy and trust are some of the most enjoyable aspects of a relationship and a sending an intimate photograph can be seen as a part of that. While it's true, it seems a shame to say relationships go wrong and trust can be abused and now look, you've ruined your life forever!
While you can ask Facebook to take down any compromising photos of you, unless you are under 18 any porn sites that use your image don't have to take your image down. Which is why students at York university, led by Heather Robertson, have begun a campaign to ban revenge porn which is demanding the Government recognises it as a sexual crime, as it is recognised in the state of California.
In a letter to David Cameron, Robertson connects revenge porn to abuse: "Many women's support groups have also linked this type of behaviour with domestic abuse, women can be forced into having these photos taken by abusive partners and the threat of them being put online can prevent these victims from leaving or seeking help. The violation of dignity, degradation and humiliation suffered by the victim needs to be recognised as a sexual assault and a harassment of a sexual nature."
It's an important acknowledgement. Considering sexting and revenge porn is often cited only in connection with secondary schools and social websites we can see it as frivolous young people getting caught. Meaning we disregard it as something to be addressed and remonstrate young people for, essentially, mismarketing themselves and their image or personal brand - hence the anxiety over them ruining future job prospects.
As with all things related to sex it comes down to consent. To consent to one thing, nude photos say, is not to consent to another, no is consent constant. Hence why the sharing of these nude photos without permission is of course distressing. To suggest and teach teenagers that the solution is to not do it is up there with abstinence education. The idea that abstinence education is about self respect is not true, it is usually based on fear rather than consequences and what good are fearful young people?