Sept. 8, 2014

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

In our digital age, it is very important to remember that what goes online stays online. Forever.

Pictures, videos and texts all are fair game once shared with others. We give in to this daily evil as we look to update our statuses and become accepted both by friends and social media.

Risqué activities such as sexting have become mainstream and easy to view and share with others. We think the Internet will hide us, mask our true identities through a false sense of anonymity. Then we shape ourselves towards unrealistic perceptions, which create degraded fantasies that warp our expectations of human decency.

When news broke of celebrity nudes leaked on Aug. 31, people immediately took to social media to share the images and voice opinions over the hack, fueling what would be an uncontrollable wave of anger, finger pointing and lack of respect for all involved.

The innocence and privacy of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirstin Dunst and Ariana Grande became shattered as the photos went viral; the crafty work of a hacker whose identity remains a mystery to the FBI and Apple, both of whom are conducting private investigations.

Many began to blame the women for taking the photos, but the images were never intended to be seen by the public eye. Our fascination with sexualizing people has made this leak one of the biggest and most celebrated of all time. It is absolutely sickening.

Like it or not, the art of self-photographing naked is a social norm. I know many people who have sent a text or shared a picture that has bared all. Whether moral or not, the cultural shift to take pictures for others and press send is becoming more of an acceptable trait.

The risk of being exposed remains a high one, but it’s one that many are willing to take.

There is nothing wrong with capturing the beauty that is the human body, especially that of your own. Loving the skin you’re in shows confidence and is incredibly sexy. What’s not sexy is violating these women’s rights to privacy and sharing these photos for your own malicious intent.

Violating a person’s privacy for the sake of a little sexual gain and then blaming the victim for having taken the photos in the first place is ludicrous. Celebrities are entitled to their rights of privacy just like everyone else.

To be fair, sexual objectification is not reserved for one sex. Male leaked photos have presented themselves numerous times over the years.

We need to teach people how to respect others. This is a grand example of cyber bullying. No one deserves to have their photos leaked like this. But if people are going to take nudes of themselves, they need to understand that there is always a risk of them leaking.

The Internet can be a dangerous place. The ability to give in to these shameful acts is incredibly easy. The ability to show respect and be a decent human being is not. Exhibit self-control on the internet, always protect yourself and think of others as well. Ask yourself: “Is the risk worth it?”