Anthony Weiner’s downfall began when he accidentally tweeted a photo of his tallywhacker publicly instead of privately. Okay, one could say his problem began when he first started trolling the Internet for strange. Touché’. But the fact remains that it was his boneheaded mistake that exposed (no pun intended) the whole thing.
First, Weiner ignored the four basic rules of sexting.
1. Don't sext. Hello? Taking nude photos of oneself or making sexy videos is always a bad idea. They almost always end up being seen by someone you never intended to see them.
2. If you do sext, send an internet-derived photo of someone else. Come on, this is cyberland; you can be whoever you want to be. Why not sext a picture of someone else’s far more impressive junk?
3. If you feel you must send an actual photo of yourself, use a fictitious name and never send pics of your face. This is a no-brainer. Two words: plausible deniability.
4. If you’re a politician, see rule number 1.
Now, I haven’t actually had an Anthony Weiner moment. I just needed a headline that would catch your eye. And if there’s anyone out there purporting to have photos of Kelvin Jr. see rule number 2.
But I did have a moment where an accident using Internet technology left me mortified.
This was the early days of the Internet. It was probably 1996 or so. I was in a chat room that also featured instant messages. This was new to me. Okay, it was new to everyone. We all had hundreds of dollars of computer equipment connected to dial-up Internet connections that, back then, usually had hourly rates. The thing I couldn’t get over was that we went to all that trouble to get online so we could just talk dirty to each other.
The chat room conversation was endless age and sex checks. It was guys asking girls to private message them. It was people asking to exchange pictures. It was crude conversation. One guy in particular kept posting the vilest come-ons in the chat room. I asked him to take that to a private message. I’m not a prude but dude…really?
Meanwhile, I was having a private message chat with a female friend of mine who lived across the country. No, not a Weiner conversation.
All of a sudden I get a second instant message. It’s from the pervert in the chat room. The guy starts cussing me out for calling him out. I tell him to get lost but he doesn’t. He keeps ranting and raving and threatening.
Don’t you just love Internet threats? They’re usually written by jobless thirty-something year old geeks living in their mom’s basement. When they’re not on the Internet, they’re on their game console; sipping Mountain Dew and sucking processed cheese from a compressed air can. And when they’re not doing that, they’re Anthony Weinering. Can’t stand these cyber badasses that would fold like an old blanket if you meet them face-to-face.
So I was trying to have a normal conversation with my friend while this guy kept ranting in instant message after message. Finally I’d HAD it. I wrote the vilest retort I could think of. I wrote stuff that would shock a sailor and make a truck driver blush. If I sent a message like that today, the Department of Homeland Security or the FBI would probably be at my door. I talked about the guy’s mother and sister and ripped him a new orifice.
Proud of my verbal assault, I hit SEND….and sent it straight to my female friend!
I panicked. I just quickly logged off and sat dumbfounded in front of my computer for about ten minutes. I blushed. I bronzed. My eyes were cartoon big. I thought, “She’s not going to know the context. She’ll wonder why I’m telling her off using the most godforsaken language.”
I spent some time looking for a rock to crawl under.
A couple hours later I logged back on and there she was. I apologized and explained what happened. She let me off the hook saying, “It’s okay. I figured that’s what happened.”
Whew! At least I didn’t have to go before microphones on cable news and admit what I did.