A take on the word texting, "sexting" is when someone sends sexually suggestive photos to another person by way of a cell phone or when a person posts nude images of one's self on a social networking site. It specifically refers to tweens' and teens' use of cell phones or social networking profiles to distribute what is often considered lewd photos of one another.
Because it involves youth, sexting is considered a nationwide problem in the U.S. which has confounded parents, school administrators and law enforcers. Prosecutors in states including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin have tried stop it by charging teens who send and receive the pictures. The challenge is that teens and tweens, known collectively GenM, are more technically savvy than their parents --and the authorities-- and so they are rarely "caught sexting" (one doesn't say "having sext.")
Historical perspective: In August 2012, the 114-year-old Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary decided to include "sexting" along with the words "F-bomb" and "flexitarian" (a semi-vegetarian) in their dictionary.
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NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon
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