Lessons from “Weinergate”

One can’t avoid the sensational gossip reporting surrounding New York Representative Anthony Weiner who is currently involved in a sexting scandal. The consequences ofof Sexting is close to my heart because I struggled with it at a period in my life. That is the reason for writing an article. Not to mention I am getting tired of being drowned out by mindless media reports from reporters who have their own agenda.

Definition of Sexting

“Sexting (a portmanteau of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexting “

“Sexting is where a person takes a sexually-explicit digital photograph of him or herself or of someone else, and sends it as an MMS and SMS via a mobile phone. These images can then be posted on the internet or forwarded electronically to other people. …

www.schools.sa.gov.au/speced2/a8_publish/modules/publish/co —

These are some lessons.

Everyone Struggles With Something in Their Life

The media ask how a powerful rising political Star like Congressman Anthony Weiner can fall so deeply in just one week. The answer is that everyone has things they don’t want to be brought out in the open. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or Republicans, Pastor or Parishioner, Sunday School Teacher or Youth Group Leader, Congressman or Constituents, Mentor Or Mentee, Athlete or spectator, Celebrity or Follower, a Writer or a Reader. I know for sure that you have demons in your life you are facing every day. Pointing the finger at Congressman Anthony Weiner will only divert attention from your struggles for a little while. At the end of the day you will still have to fight your temptations, struggles and carry the burdens of your life. While you might not send explicit messages or compromising pictures of yourself over the Internet your wrong doings are as wrong as those of Congressman Anthony Weiner in front of God anyway. I understand that we must use sound judgments in voting for those who represent us. But we should not cast stones at those who fall. Matthew 7:3-5 question hypocrites who look at the speck in their brothers eye first before they remove their own plank.

Lies Increasing the Problem

For ten days Rep Weiner claimed that these pictures were not his and his Twitter account was hacked. He even drafted a statement for Porn Star Ginger Lee and offered his PR team if she needed help to fend off the calls from media reporters over her online relationship with him as TMZ reports. Now former Speaker of the House and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethical investigation of the embattled Congressman in order to see if rules were violated according to the Los Angeles Times. The fact of the manner is that the women the 6time relelcted Congressman was engaged with were all of legal age and that they were consensual relationships. He should have just said: “Yes, I did it” and moved on. He could have avoided the whole press conference. Weiner also gave his opponent Conservative Blogger Andrew Breitbart more opportunity to be in the limelight with his lies and allegation. Breitbart is the guy who broke the news and exposed the sexting scandal. In the Bible King David covered his lies up with more lies which ended up essential in the death of a loyal trooper Uriah. In the end King David was still humiliated just like Rep Weiner. Lies have rarely accomplished anything.

Perception Is the Key

Rep. Anthony Weiner did not engage in sexual relationships with those ladies he contacted online. For all we know he may have never intended to do so but the public treats him as he did. The Internet to me was a place where I can experience things I would never do in real life. Slipping in and out of different roles, playing a sensual woman, appear as confident and intellect and connect with people I would never do in real life with the key to an ocean full of knowledge drew me to the Internet. Even through the darkest years of my former “Sexting problem” I never wished to meet up with someone in order to engage in a sexual relationships for real. The fact that a congressman fell victim to his own temptation in such a way doesn’t surprise me nor does it make me think anything less or more of him. I have experienced sexting in my own life and I know I easy I was drawn in and how empty, worthless and humiliated it really made me feel. At the moment I just can’t help but feeling sorry for the guy and I thank God that I am not in the public spotlight to deal with that on top of all the emotion who came with succumbing to my inner demon. Sexuality in our society has become a source of humiliation and exploitation. For example it is reported that Weiner sent “dirty” pictures of himself to women. Why not just say he send explicit pictures or pictures of his genitals to women. The word “dirty” already judges the guy. In addition to this, Meagan Broussard is all over sudden seen as the victim in all of these. She commented on his facebook page in April and has since voluntarily communicated with Representative Weiner. The obtained pictures were sent to her. You can’t tell me that a 26 year old former Airman couldn’t break off the online relationship. Now she is victimized as the single mom who Weiner took advantage off. Do we perceive Congressman Weiner as a Democrat who betrayed his constituent or do we perceive him as a guy who has a problem?

Sexting Affects Not Only People Involved but Others Too

In my case it affected my whole family, the way I perceived my husband and my children. It influenced my Christian Walk and took a lot of time away from those who needed it first. Sexting also took the sacred out of an intimate relationship and made me feel depressed, guilty and paralyzed to do daily activity. With Congressman Weiner much more then his family is in play. He represented constituents and the Democrats in congress. He represents politicians in general. Now the media worries if he betrayed the trust of his voters and some have asked for him to resign. Weiner fought against tax cuts, for 9/11 victims and Health Care. While I don’t’ agree with his policy his constituent did. They are suffering now from a possible resignation. Politicians have often a bad reputation anyway. Weiners public demeanor will ad to this perception. His online escapades also hurt his wife Huma Abedin who is a political aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her carrier might be hurting at this moment and she was humiliated. She wasn’t at the public state dinners on Monday nor did she accompany her husband to his press conference but some reports states that she will be standing behind her husband. The two married a year ago. Last not least it hurts the women and their families he had online relationship with. Meagan Broussard took control of further exposure by exposing herself and writing a letter stating what had happened in that online relationship.

There is not an Anonymity on the Internet Anymore

People often think they can post messages with whatever screen name they please without getting recognized by others or without being it attributed to their offline personality. As you can see in the example of Representative Weiner it doesn’t really matter to whom you send messages too or how carefully you are. You can be exposed quite quickly. A lot of employers asking these days for your facebook, twitter and myspace accounts and checking what pictures and thoughts you post on your pages. A quick search with your email address on your resume may connect them to your social networking pages. Casey Anthony and her friend Morales myspace account was also in question at her death penality case. Sometimes Bloggers can see the email account to the comment you are connected with. I for example recognized once the email account from my imposter and knew immediately who she was. In Congressman Weiner’s case he only made one typo. Instead of sending a direct message to Meagan Broussard he accidently hit the mention button. That tweet was then for the world to see and everything and everyone associated with him was exposed. The golden rule is not to engage in an online relationship if you don’t want it to be known. Be authentic online to the person you are offline This willl save you embarrassment. If you don’t want something to be seen, it’s best not to post it on a social networking site not even in private messages.

Leaving Sexting Behind

Some might say that the humiliation Congressman Weiner endured will be enough for him not to ever engage in sexting again. Even if he is forced to resign I don’t think that is the case. Sexting is the symptom of something much deeper then just wanting to exchange pictures and messages with other people. In my journey even wanting to do the right thing and trying to measure up to the Christian Woman I should be, only kept me in a cycle of despair, depression and shame. Then I started searching for acceptance by the wrong people. Through seeking for confidence, self worth, affirmation and love I found humiliation and embarrassment. Sexting couldn’t simply provide what I was looking for all along. Once I realized this facts my desire to engage in online relationships was gone. It was a process of a year or so, but then I stopped as quickly as a light switch is turned off. I haven’t done that it in five years. Today I am thankful that God took that desire away from me after two years of prayers and the god giving ability to have compassion for people like Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Personal Experience