Potential Evidence

17 Nov

Off on another travel adventure, I had asked my dad to drive me to the airport. Wanting to make sure his college daughter made it to the right check-in station, he quickly ran inside with me and left his car running at the drop-off area. He was only gone for five minutes, but when he got back, his car had been towed. Oops! Guess that wasn’t such a great idea, despite his good intentions! To get his car back, he had to go to the designated parking lot and pay $150 in tickets & fines. Surprised at how expensive it was, he asked if they gave a break to first-time offenders. The woman at the counter smiled. “Sir, we don’t have second-time offenders.”

My dad learned something important that day: ignorance is not bliss! In fact, you are responsible for what you do whether or not you know all the consequences up-front.

Did you know that it’s a felony to send inappropriate (read: nude) pics of a minor—even if you are a minor? Some teens are finding out that what they thought was a harmless choice (sending or forwarding a nude pic of themselves, a friend, or a classmate) is actually a crime! And a big one, at that. A felony stays on your permanent record. (The one that colleges & employers check.) And because this offense is linked to child pornography, those convicted may have to register as sex offenders! To many young people’s shock, saying, “I didn’t know!” doesn’t change a thing. You still have to “pay the ticket.”

Even if you’re over 18, sending an inappropriate pic of yourself or someone “of age” can come back to haunt you later. Remember, anything you send into cyberspace is potential “evidence” against you. Once it hits the Internet or media devices, consider it public and available forever. Even texts. (Once you hit send, you can’t get it back.) Things like tweets, Facebook comments, texts and pics may not seem like a big deal in the moment, but you have to remind yourself to think bigger: is this comment/pic how I want to be remembered? Because you could make great comments 99% of the time, only to be remembered for the single one you wrote in anger.

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

Let’s choose to have good reputations, especially when it comes to what we do and say with social media. Not just because we might get caught and have to face consequences. But because we want to please our Heavenly Father and feel good about who we are (whether or not others notice).

Much love,

Lisa

photo credit

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