The safest way to avoid having embarassing escape into the open is to not take them at all. But if you can't help yourself, you should be armed with the proper tools to practice safe texting. Snapchat is an iPhone app which will automatically delete picture messages you send to friends seconds after they view it.
According to the description you can set the app to eradicate itself anywhere from 1-10 seconds after the recipient views it. If they try and capture a screenshot, the app will alert you, but it isn't clear if it actually prevents people from saving the screenshot. And as the NY Times points out, there's nothing stopping someone from taking a photo of their screen (besides having an actual life). Still though, it's better than nothing, I suppose. [iTunes via NY Times]
What's the old saying? Necessity is the mother of invention? Ding! Ding! Ding! Now granted I'm getting a little old for late night texting game, most of my drunk texting happens at about 8pm these days, but from what I've heard from people who can still stay awake past 9, this is a welcome addition to their smart phone. Because let me tell you something folks, and this is especially important for our young readers out there, literally NOTHING good happens with a cell phone after 2am. Nothing. Because after bar close you get home and flip that phone open and think you're frieking Shakespeare. You think you're typing out love sonnets one character at a time. Then you wake up the next morning most likely next to a pizza box and look through your phone records and read things like 'i lik u lets sex.' Embarrassment city. Well no longer! Snapchat has taken the (extra) shame away from waking up from a bender with this Mission Impossible self destructing text. I said what last night? I don't remember sending that picture! Must have been your imagination! The only sad thing is that this came too late for me (and Brett Favre). Make no mistake about it, there are two walks of shame in the morning, the actual one, and the technological one. Well Snapchat just solved one of those problems and the other will probably never have a solution.
PS: I guess I never really had to deal with the 'sext pic' thing in my heyday because phones when I was in college were still a little old school. Some took pictures, some didn't blah blah. Like the phone I had for the majority of college made calls and played snake and that was pretty much it. If you wanted to sext in 2002 you had to take a picture with an actual camera, go to a one hour photo and get it developed, grab a mailer and a stamp and send it overnight. Kids today have it so easy.