Safety-net apps do exist to help reduce risk of texting disasters. (Shutterstock)
Sexy Typewriter, Special to QMI Agency
, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET
Ever wish you could undo past mistakes? Like, say, sexting that hot guy at the bar last weekend a flirtatious sneak preview? Not that we speak from experience.
Like just about everything, there’s an app for that.
“Quimby is an iPhone app designed to reduce the risk that comes with sending sensitive information via smartphone,” says Torontonian Heather Burns, who created the app in collaboration with BNOTIONS.
It allows users to set a self-destruct timer on what they send – whether it be text or a photo. That way, the sender can be sure that the information won’t stick around on the recipient’s phone.”
Paging Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Weiner.
“We don’t necessarily want to label ourselves strictly as a sexting app because there are many other sensitive things you may want to send, but we realize that in today’s busy society, sending intimate messages and photos is becoming a legitimate part of many relationships,” Burns says.
“We are happy we can help people to feel safe and secure in doing this.”
Twenty-six-year-old Brad, who works as a bartender, had a bit of a harrowing experience after recently sending a photo of what his mama gave him to the wrong girl. Unlike a scene in a recent episode of ‘Girls’ where Hannah Horvath’s perpetually shirtless friend with benefits sexts her a photograph of his manhood – immediately followed up with a casual “SRY that wasn’t for you”— Brad had a bit of a freak-out and, as he puts it, did a fair amount of caps-lock yelling.
“I think in the digital age, it’s easier to flirt, and be really provocative without necessarily being as nervous or feeling as judged as if it were in person,” Brad says of the prevalence of sexting. “It’s part exhibitionism, part voyeurism.”
According to a 2010 Pew study, 6% of adults over the age of 18 have sent “a sexually suggestive nude or semi-nude image to someone else by text.
“The percentage for teens is nearly triple that. And as smartphones featuring cameras become more and more common among consumers, instances of sexting will most likely follow suit.
Online dating expert Julie Spira, best-selling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating, advises against the swapping of sexually explicit digital photos, videos or anything else that might stick around on smartphones or hard drives.
“Before you push the send button to send that sexy shot to your beau, ask yourself, ‘How would my parents, boss, or kids feel if they saw this?'”
Despite the safety mechanisms of such apps as Quimby and Snapchat, they’re probably not fail-safe. Screen captures can be taken in half a second, for one thing. And there are always photographs of photographs.
“Sure, reminding him of your romantic evening in that sexy red lingerie and thong bikini will get him through the day, but if he posts the risque photo after your relationship ends, you might end up in digital hot water,” says Spira.
“Not only that, but I’ve known too many people caught in this perilous trap. A permanent digital footprint of your photo may include ending up in a blog post in another country. Having it go viral will be hazardous to your emotional health.”
Not to mention your political career. Or marriage. Or both.
So before you snap and send a photo of your nether regions, think twice about what could potentially happen if it falls into the wrong hands. As the Star Wars Kid would surely attest, the Internet is like an elephant. It never forgets.
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures – online and otherwise – at Sexytypewriter.com