Texting becomes an addiction for many teens

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  Erin Fink can text faster than most anyone.  She literally nearly became the texting champ.

"They had a commercial on MTV and you had to be the first person in the United States to text it back accurately and I did. So they flew me up to New York City and I competed. Over 500,000 people tried out and I placed second," Fink said.

Erin admits she normally spends about 10 hours a day texting. As many as tens of thousands of text messages pass through her phone every month.  Somehow she's still a top student and multi-sport athlete.

Experts say someone like Erin is rare.

Doctors say phone obsession is serious and has to stop.

On top of just being a major time consumer, cell phones make it easy for children to be targeted by predators and bullies.  Sexting, even at a young age, is also a problem.

"Once that gets out on the Internet it is there forever.  I have had children who are suicidal when they realize that video and naked pictures of themselves are all over the Internet and they can't do a thing about it," said behavioral pediatrician Dr. Doris Greenburg.

The doctor says parents need to be parents, not popular, and learn to say no.

"I think parents have to stop putting their heads in the sand. When their children are plugged into these devices they need to monitor them.  They need to be aware of who their friends are who they are in contact with,"  Greenburg said.

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