A girl, 12, discovers dangers of iPod texting

Posted: July 25, 2012

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 12-year-old girl and I hope you will print this because it's about something important. I have an iPod Touch. My friends and I wanted to text, so I asked my mom if I could download a program to talk to my friends. She said it was OK.

I really like "The Hunger Games," so I went into a "Hunger Games" chat room and started talking with some boys. The next thing I knew there were three men texting me, asking me questions about sex and asking for pictures. (It started with them asking if I was fat, and when I said no, I was asked to send a picture of me in a bathing suit to prove it.) Then they wanted me to send some without the top. I felt really pressured.

I got so scared I couldn't sleep, so I had to tell my mom. She helped me delete my account and told me it was dangerous, but she always loves me. It was hard for me to tell her because I was scared she was going to be mad.

I want your readers to know this can happen and there are chat room apps for iPods. I'm smart, but these guys almost tricked me into doing something I didn't want to do. I still have trouble sleeping. What should I do?

— Terrified From Texting

DEAR TERRIFIED: I'm glad you took the time to write. Bottom line: If anyone wants to text or chat and things progress in a way that makes you uncomfortable, it's time to carefully consider whether to proceed or not. Show the text or chat to a parent or an older, more knowledgeable friend and ask for an opinion. Remember, you can block the person at any time. Do not let anyone — friend or stranger — force you to do anything.

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