Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
Even though users believe their photos on Snapchat for example will go away in seconds, it is easy to save them through other photo capturing technology, third party applications, or simple screenshots.
The study had a small sample size, so more research needs to be done surrounding sexting and motivation, but it is clear that sexting is a phenomenon that is not constrained to simply unattached individuals looking for fun; it is used by those in intimate relationships to increase feelings of intimacy and closeness one's partner.
For teens, sexting can also act as a prelude (or in lieu of) sexual activity, as an experimental phase for those who are yet to be sexually active, and for those who are hoping to start a relationship with someone.
Unfortunately these applications carry the same risks and consequences that have always existed.
In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes sponsored by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20% of teens (13-20) and 33% of young adults (20-26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically.
Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages.
This suggests a consent issue of people receiving photos without asking for them.
This is enhanced with Snapchat, as the person receiving snapchats will not be aware of the contents until they open it. In a 2011 study, 54% of the sample had sent explicit pictures or videos to their partners at least once, and ⅓ of their sample had engaged in such activities occasionally.
most media coverage fixates on negative aspects of adolescent usage.
While film cameras often required a dark room to process negatives, modern camera phones can record sexually explicit images and videos in privacy.
In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.