This Valentine's Day, you may try to flirtext your way into a relationship. But whatever you do, just keep it legal!
Wait -- flirtexting?
This new form of "flirting" is all the rage. In case you can't tell, flirtexting is the combination of flirting and texting. It's flirting by text message or social media, typically through the use of a handheld communications device.
With smartphone use increasing and people constantly on the go, it's a new way of starting a relationship in the era of Facebook and Twitter. There's even a book out on the subject, New York's WLNY-TV reports.
You wouldn't normally think there could be legal issues with flirtexting, but as with anything, you never want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Keep your flirtexting legal by following these tips:
Don't text and drive. In many states, texting and driving is illegal. Even if it's not illegal in your state, it's definitely a danger. So if you're behind the wheel, your flirtext can wait. Texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving, if not more dangerous.
Be careful about sexting. Flirtexting is OK, but sexting can be illegal. There's a fine line between flirtexting and sexting. Don't send suggestive, nude or sexual material via text message, especially if a minor is involved. You could get in trouble for sending pornographic images to children.
Don't engage in flirtexting with a minor. Flirtexting itself won't lead to statutory rape charges but when texts cross the line into sexting, you could find yourself in legal trouble. In some states, it's illegal to send sexually suggestive messages to minors, even if sent by another minor. In some cases, you could be forced to register as a sex offender if convicted.
Be honest. Don't be caught catfishing. Catfishing is when a person uses a fake profile to contact others on the Internet. Catfishing can constitute an invasion of privacy.
Know who you're texting. If the person on the other end asks you for personal information, money or financial information, don't give it. It's easy to fall victim to identity theft if you let your emotions get in the way.
- Sexting - Texting For Trouble (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Is Teen Sexting a Real Problem or Just Hype? (FindLaw's Technologist)
- More Teen Sexting Leads to More Child Porn Charges (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)