Sexting, Safety And The Social Norm: Are You "Norm"al?

Sexting is a prehistoric concept compared to what is already here destroying lives at a rapid rate, and what lays on the digital horizon.
By: Richard Guerry
June 3, 2009 - PRLog -- As our planet’s geographical boundaries become increasingly irrelevant due to the rapid advancement of digital communication, our global community has become more intimate, and our digital actions more pronounced. Technologies that our most intelligent ancestors could only dream of are now a daily afterthought that many of us take for granted.

Surviving in our rapidly evolving digital and virtual worlds requires a proactive digital mindset and an acute awareness of the social norm, “Responsibility 2.1C”. If you or a loved one utilize digital technology without a concurrent and necessary concept of 21st century responsibility, it is very likely that in your lifetime you will be directly or indirectly affected by the dire consequences that accompany poor (digital) judgment.

Ironically, this same technology bridging the communication gap between countries and generations, has proven that like our planet, it can instantly take from us, just as easily as it can reward.

When our ancestors first discovered the flame, they learned quickly that irresponsible use of fire will often lead to a burn. Armed with this very simple (now basic) knowledge, our predecessors proactively passed down this information through generations to ensure civilizations across our (once flat, then round, then vast, and increasingly shrinking) planet possessed a proactive acute awareness that “playing with a dangerous tool like fire can burn”. While this lesson was later adapted to include breakthrough inventions like the candle and the stove, the underlying concept never changed. Heat + Irresponsibility = Burn.

If we “fast forward” to today’s generation, with each sunrise comes a new idea, invention or gadget tied to the use of digital technologies. The innovative ideas and ingenuity our generation not only possesses but transforms into reality have forced all of us collectively and as individuals to rapidly adapt to a new way of working, a new way of living, a new way of communicating. However, lost in our rapid adaptation to these new technologies and “toys” was the creation of a uniform and proactive concept of responsibility, and a system to arm our digital generation with the knowledge that irresponsible utilization of these technologies, or “toys” can do more than burn, they can disintegrate an entire social system in less than ½ of 1 second. In Other Words: Digital Technology – 21st Century Responsibility = Annihilation.

The real irony here however is as innovative, brilliant, and “tech savvy” as our generation would say we are, pre-21st century civilizations with no universal form of written or verbal communication were able to collectively and proactively communicate safety and responsibility (about the flame and repercussions of irresponsible use) to future generations for adaptation to new technologies like the stove, and yet, in an age where a single image can devastate an entire community, in an era where the aforementioned image can be sent around the world in less than a second from the touch of a button, in a time when (global) communication is so easy and mindless we don’t even consider the processes required to execute our (instant) messages, it appears that nobody in our “advanced civilization” really ever stopped to ponder and prepare us, as a now digital society, for the concurrently devastating consequences poor judgment summons when irresponsibly utilizing these rapidly evolving and distributed technologies and “toys”.

As we continue our expeditious and reactive adaptation to technology, we concurrently continue to neglect the required understanding of how we ourselves (not to mention future generations) should formally behave and communicate responsibly to avoid the aforementioned annihilation. To employ a continuous and ongoing patchwork process as the means for curing rapidly evolving digital diseases like sexting, cyber bullying or sextcasting would ensure that our generation, and those to follow will forever be challenged with new, more dangerous digital diseases that will ultimately cause exponential harm. Executing reactionary based technologies and programs using pre-21st century concepts to digital disease once it has become a national issue fuels the inevitability that society’s demise will ultimately result from our own hands.

It is vital that our global leaders understand what is at stake here, and that technology offers no pity, remorse, or flexibility to fame, money or power. Strong social influence may shield some of our citizens from pre-21st century based rules and responsibilities like fines, lines, and poverty, but the President himself, the leader of the free world (today, or 20 years from today) could not recall an embarrassing image should it become viral through digital technologies without infringing upon our civil liberties.

Responsibility 2.1C is our generation’s flame. It is our generation’s basic concept of digital responsibility, safety and awareness. It is a necessary social norm that must be conceived and passed down to future generations starting today. As inventions and technologies are created, 2.1C can be adapted, however, as was the case with the flame, the candle, and the stove, the underlying concept will remain. Society’s ability to conceive, practice and communicate this very simple, uniform and established concept will assist us in proactively avoiding digital Armageddon.

Some may say this piece is a bit melodramatic, over the top, and unrealistic. To those of you that fall into the aforementioned group, I wonder if you were Jessica Logan’s mother if you wouldn’t feel like your world has ended. If you, your child, or your parents were at the epicenter of a digital issue like sexting or sextcasting with nowhere to run as technology is everywhere. I wonder if you would maintain the very thoughts you had a moment ago if your child or loved one was taken by a predator that located them because their school or corporate logo was visible on their shirt in somebody’s digital image. The aforementioned examples are a microcosm of tragedies that destroy multiple lives every day, and requesting a seminar to retroactively deal with specific issues on a case by case basis will ensure that this trend continues.

Sexting is a prehistoric concept compared to what is already here destroying lives at a rapid rate, and what lays on the digital horizon. Just as our ancestors could only dream of the technology we have today, we would be ignorant to think that a continuous evolution of technology and the new diseases they will present will not reveal themselves over the course of our lives and our childrens' lives. Our generation must be focused on preparing for diseases as they arrive in society, not a headline.

Now is the time for us as individuals, a nation, and a global community to understand, adapt to, and communicate Responsibility 2.1C. The proactive understanding of this social norm will save thousands of lives as it provides our generation, and generations to follow with the knowledge required to responsibly utilize current and future technologies and proactively cure digital disease. It is our generation’s chance to make a fresh start while we still can, by learning the lessons of our forefathers, and ensuring we have a firm grasp on how to use new tools and technologies before we rapidly innovate and distribute a potentially lethal tool as a sophisticated or innovative “toy”.
Digital Technology + Responsibility 2.1C = A Social Norm of 21st Century Safety, Responsibility and Awareness.

To learn more about Responsibility 2.1C, and how this concept can be communicated to your community for free ASAP, please visit

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The Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication (I.R.O.C.2) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a new way of social thinking as it relates to the use of digital technologies and "Digital Responsibility" 2.1C.

We as a nation need to provide direct proactive communication of Digital Responsibility (Responsibility 2.1C) to a new generation. We cannot be reactionary treating today's digital issues, and we cannot resolve them with 20th century threats, reprimand and curriculum. The real problem is our youth has grown up learning what we call responsibility 1.0 or offline responsibility. They do not understand the scope of the repercussions when they invoke poor (digital) judgment because they have not been proactively taught 21st century digital responsibility or what we call, Responsibility 2.1C. We cannot apply 20th century solutions to 21st century issues."
Source:Richard Guerry
Tags:Sexting, Sextcasting, Sextcast, Sext, Internet, Safety, Online, Responsibility, President, Government, Digital, 2 1c
Industry:Family, Lifestyle, Society
Location:New Jersey - United States
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