WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 31, 2012, 09:34 PM

Stunning statistic could have people thinking twice about sexting

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A warning that may finally send the real message about sexting.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A warning that may finally send the real message about sexting.

While teens may think these messages are for their eyes only, a study from Britain's Internet Watch Foundation shows nearly 90 percent of homemade pornography ends up on the internet.

With more teens using cell phones and websites to connect with their friends, the line between private and public is quickly blurring, even for the most private acts.

Zack Qual, NDSU Sophomore: “Technology is advanced everything but I think that it also has advanced our sex lives.”

A new study shows that 88 percent of "private" pornography ends up online. Usually made by couples thinking it’s for their eyes only but finding its way to the internet through social media or stolen cell phones.

Brooke Fisher, NDSU Sophomore: “Yeah it kind of blows my mind.”

Qual: “It doesn't surprise me because you know, 'Hey I got this, look what I got from this girl', that's the locker room talk almost.”

Not only is more explicit material makes its way online, but there are more people putting it out there. Students at NDSU say it’s almost the norm to send that inappropriate text message or picture

Qual: “It's a way to spice things up I guess in some people's mind.”

At the Sheyenne 9th grade center in west Fargo, counselors are trying to reach students at an early age, when these messages are already popping up in inboxes.

Jessica Raile, Sheyenne Counselor: “The last couple years we go into health classrooms and we ask students how many of you know of someone who, or have seen, or have taken a picture that you probably shouldn't have and a majority of the kids will raise their hand.”

Lori Liebl, Sheyenne Library Media Specialist: “We try to make sure that they are aware, that just because you are texting one person, does not mean that it was not forwarded to a hundred other people.”

But for students and staff alike, the most important thing is realizing the seconds it takes to send that message.

Raile: “If you wouldn't want the whole world to see it, don't take it, don't send it.”

May often create years of haunting humility.

Counselors also say parents should educate their kids at home and keep an eye out for suspicious sexual behaviors.