Silver surfers ride the sexting wave

Last updated 11:00 23/01/2013
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LET'S TALK ABOUT SEXTS, GRANNY: Silver surfers are riding the sexting wave.

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There is really no easy way of saying this, so it's best to just come straight out with it.

Apparently, grannies and grandads are using their mobile phones to send each other raunchy pictures.

First we had silver surfers - older folk keeping up with the kids by using the internet.

Now we have silver sexters too.

Sexting (sending naked, semi-naked pictures of oneself via SMS mobile telephone message), has been around for as long as mobile phone cameras have been half decent.

And it's largely always been thought of as the preserve of the young. But an Australian dating website claims to have uncovered a number of older people sexting each other.

Benaughty.com analysed the behaviour of 1783 of its members and found 31 per cent of those aged 50 or over admitted sexting.

"Sexting has become increasingly acceptable and is no longer considered a dirty word," Benaughty.com's Sean Wood said.

"What's most interesting is that it's popular among all ages and genders, whether you're 18, or over 50."

Of course, benaughty.com has a vested interest in making you think flirtation is common - that's its stock in trade.

But the claim more older people are sexting is borne out by some other research.

A US survey involving 2097 adults (conducted by Lookout Mobile Security in 2012) suggested more older people are sexting.

And a 2011 report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reached the same conclusion.

Other benaughty.com research findings include more Australian women than men send sexts.

And a majority of both genders said sexting is harmless fun.

That's not the view of everybody, of course.

There have been very serious concerns about sexting in the past - not least regarding where the photographs end up.

The best advice is to exercise common sense.

Even if you're old enough to think you know what's best.

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- AAP

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