About 12 years ago we were introduced to the iPhone. Now we have smartwatches, televisions and cars. We can turn our lights on while at work and have conversations with our devices. At the same time, it can be foreboding and intimidating. The unknowns could be deemed far scarier than the advantages.
With the introduction of technology comes the need to change our expectations around social behaviour and law.
The police had to introduce a no mobile phone policy for our roads. We have to teach the next generation to look up from their phone when crossing the road and how to have a conversation at the dinner table.
But there is a dark side to this new technology.
Back in 2017, The Examiner highlighted the issue of revenge porn - digital material, like images and video, distributed by others to manipulate, cause shame or used as emotional or mental abuse.
On the back of the series, the state government announced a plan to make image-based abuse a criminal offence.
This is currently sitting within the Criminal Code Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2019, which will be before parliament this year. The changes would include making the current offence of stalking to be amended to capture serious bullying behaviour and criminalise cyberbullying.
In 2017, NSW adopted new laws to make image-based abuse a crime. Those found guilty now face up to three years' jail and an $11,000 fine. Victoria and South Australia have made it criminal to both distribute intimate images non-consensually and to threaten such distribution and Western Australia introduced laws in 2018.
Disturbingly revenge porn is escalating as a concern for teenagers. The new statistics from Kids Helpline shows a tip sheet on sexting has had more than 40,000 pageviews in the first six months of this year.
The issue with sharing explicit images is the fact they can be used against in the future. A message hard for teenagers and even adults to fully comprehend. Hopefully, the new law will be strong enough to offer a deterrent to this dark crime.