SEXTING EXPOSED: Locals weigh in on dangers of growing trend

COLUMBIA CITY — The phrase “nothing lasts forever” doesn’t apply to a growing problem in the technology world.A photograph can last forever — and people are learning the consequences of the photos they take and send on their cell phones.Teens and adults alike are becoming more aware of the ramifications of “sexting,” a mash-up of the words “sex” and “texting.”Sexting is defined as the sending of sexually-explicit messages or images through the use of cell phones and texting. The American Counseling Associaion said it’s a growing activity, as 11 percent of girls between ages 13 and 16 admitted to texting or posting suggestive photos of themselves. The same study found that 1-of-5 teenagers have sexted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves.This is a scary statistic for parents, as an estimated 84 percent of teens ages 15 to 18 have their own cell phones. An even more shocking study showed 22 percent of children ages 6 to 9 have a mobile device.Stacey Wells commented on The Post & Mail’s Facebook page, and doesn’t think her children should have phones at all.“My children are 9, 10, 11, 15 and 16 years old and do not have phones,” Wells said. “Although it would be convenient at times. And as for Facebook, we require passwords so we can frequently check their accounts.”While youngsters may think what they’re doing is harmless fun, the American Counseling Association warns parents to keep an eye on their kids’ activity.To read the rest of this story, see the April 6 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.