DEAR ABBY: Shortly after college and a bad breakup, I met someone I thought was a "nice" guy. I allowed him to take sexually explicit photos of me. I realize now that I did it because I had very low self-esteem back then.
The moment he snapped the pictures I regretted it and asked for them back. He refused, and even tried to extort money from me with threats of sending copies to my workplace. I was working for a Fortune 500 company at the time and was scared to death. Fortunately, he didn't follow through on his threat.
Fast forward 20 years: I am now a stay-at-home mom with a wonderful husband and two young children. I still think about the mistakes I made all those years ago, and I had a dream recently about this particular situation. I'm not worried about my husband finding out because I told him about this before we were married. However, I do wonder what happened to the pictures. With today's technology, they could be anywhere now.
Who we are today is not necessarily who we are going to be tomorrow. Abby, please warn young girls and boys to THINK before doing something that can possibly follow them through a lifetime. -- NAMELESS IN GEORGIA
DEAR NAMELESS: Amen! But your letter is a more effective warning than any sermon that could come from me. Not only is it a fact that the photos and statements we post on the Internet are there for eternity, but the "sexts," texts, videos and blogs of yesteryear can haunt us like tattered vagrant ghosts instead of staying buried. One need only recall the embarrassment of certain celebrities -- who should have known better -- whose names and images have been blasted across the media and learn from their mistakes.