Saucy Celebs Fuel British ‘Sexting’ Craze

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New Research reveals that it is not just footballers getting themselves into trouble over racy text messaging

One in five adults admit to having engaged in sending racy texts or picture messages, joining the ranks of alleged celebrity ‘sexters’ such as David Beckham and Ashley Cole, according to a consumer poll by SellMyMobile.com.*

However, the research shows that it’s not just a love of the risqué that we have in common with the stars. With ‘sexting’ habits of celebs helping to lift the lid on several high profile affairs, the results showed that we also have a habit of getting into trouble by sex texting the wrong person.

People under the age of 25 are the UK’s most active ‘sexters’, and the most likely to land themselves in hot water, with 43 per cent of respondents having sent a racy text intended for someone else. Among the unwitting recipients of this age group’s wayward ‘sexting’ are friends (27%), ex-partners (11%) and colleagues (10%), but family members are most likely to be on the receiving end, with almost 40% going out to siblings, parents and even grandparents!

Another result echoing the plight celebrity sexters, was the 12 per cent of all respondents who have been caught red-handed sending a racy text to someone they should not have been flirting with. Both men and women are equally guilty, but the under 25s outstripped the other age groups once again with almost a third having been caught in the act.

Overall, the survey showed Londoners to be the most careless in their risqué mobile habits. More than a third of consumers in the capital admitted sending a racy text to the wrong person, compared to just 12 per cent of those in the Midlands - the most conscientious ‘sexting’ region of Britain.

Keir McConomy, Managing Director of SellMyMobile.com, comments:

“A key aspect of text messaging is that it allows a more detached method of communication. This was part of its initial popularity and a likely explanation for the large number of people willing to send out explicit content.”

“Text and picture messaging has now become so second nature that people are less cautious, leading to messages frequently going astray. Our survey shows the extent of people doing this with personal and risqué content, and the obvious potential for embarrassment that this creates!”

The research also revealed that a significant number of Brits fail to wipe personal content when selling or giving away their mobile phone, revealing a second careless mobile phone habit. One in five respondents said they had sold, recycled or given away an old mobile without clearing personal and private content including messages, pictures and numbers

McConomy adds:
“While careless texting might get you in some trouble, leaving personal details on your old mobile may have more serious consequences. It has the potential to leave you and your contacts quite exposed, risking important and personal information falling into third party hands. With this in mind, we would strongly advise consumers to clear all data when parting with their old phones.”

The results showed that the younger respondents were once again the most careless, with a third failing to clear personal data from their phone, compared to just one in five of the over 55s group.

About SellMyMobile.com

An independent and impartial mobile phone recycling price comparison site, SellMyMobile.com works by comparing the prices from all of the UK’s leading mobile phone buyers. When a user enters the make and model of their phone SellMyMobile.com checks prices from 28 UK phone buyers to provide the most comprehensive and accurate price comparison for selling their mobile phone.

*The research for SellMyMobile.com was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 25 / 06 / 2010 and 02 / 07 / 2010. Sample: 1097 UK mobile phone owners

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Emma White

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