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Google's Schmidt: Kids Need 'Online Talk' Before Sex Talk

By - Source: Reuters | B 20 comments

There's no question that kids today are growing up in a very different time compared to generations past. Thanks to the internet and devices such as smartphones, technology has a huge impact on how children develop and it's important for parents to educate their children on the proper use of these technologies. In fact, Google's Eric Schmidt thinks the 'online talk' should come before sex education.

Schmidt, who has spoken in the past about protecting minors from their online mistakes, told Reuters that parents need to educate their children on online safety and privacy online. Schmidt described user generated content as a privacy nightmare for a 15-year-old.

"Because, when you're about 15, and you do something stupid and you go to juvenile court and they say, 'Okay, you're just a kid. If you get to 18 and you don't do it again, we'll clear your record, no one will ever know,'" Schmidt said. "Well now, it's gonna follow you for the rest of your life. And I'd argue for those of you with teenagers or pre-teens, you should probably have the online talk before you even have the sex talk with your kid, because that's the kind of damage they can do to themselves over their entire life."

Back in 2010, Eric Schmidt commented that he thought a time would come when young people would be allowed to change their name when they became an adult, just to escape the stupid things their real name may be associated with online.

If you remember 'Hello My Future Girlfriend' or 'Star Wars Kid,' you'll know what Google chief Eric Schmidt is talking about. Sometimes, we post things online without thinking about the consequences. Other times, our friends are the culprits, making something embarrassing available for the world to see, without first asking if we mind. Schmidt clearly believes that educating children on the permanent nature of the internet is the best way to protect their privacy.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Yuka , November 23, 2012 1:13 PM
    Totally valid point. And agreed. Kids today have such an early access to tha interwebz and we all know what that means.

    So yeah, pretty much spot on.

    Now, how can we explain what's going on in the interwebz to a 7-8 year old kid? And don't give me the "SUCH YOUNG AGE!!!" crap, you know at that age a kid knows how to surf the web.

    Cheers!
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Yuka , November 23, 2012 1:13 PM
    Totally valid point. And agreed. Kids today have such an early access to tha interwebz and we all know what that means.

    So yeah, pretty much spot on.

    Now, how can we explain what's going on in the interwebz to a 7-8 year old kid? And don't give me the "SUCH YOUNG AGE!!!" crap, you know at that age a kid knows how to surf the web.

    Cheers!
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    mrmaia , November 23, 2012 1:24 PM
    Fully agree with pretty much every word said by Schmidt, adding that the Internet can in fact drive those very same teens (and children) to sex, consensual or not - and so, sex education should be a part of the Internet.
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , November 23, 2012 1:36 PM
    While I agree I would like to point out that most adults should get that talk when buying their first smart phone!

    Due to my job I get large numbers of photographs sent to me, some of them racy in nature. And you would not believe how many of them are from iPhones, complete with GPS data intact.

    Somebody is not telling people that a phone that can show a map with your current location can also attach said info to the photo you took of yourself at home; and then posted "anonymously" to a dating site !

  • 8 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 23, 2012 2:05 PM
    and it's important for parents to educate their children

    This was always important, not just now, and this is what most parents dont do.
    Time are "always" diffrent than "when I was young".


  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 23, 2012 2:06 PM
    "Times" :D .
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 23, 2012 2:11 PM
    I see little kids with tablets or smartphones nowadays. Scary.
  • 3 Hide
    rohitbaran , November 23, 2012 3:51 PM
    Agreed. Kids go online first before they even go to school, I guess.
  • 0 Hide
    noreaster , November 23, 2012 4:51 PM
    This makes me wonder how I will approach the topic when I have offspring. I know that the idea of internet privacy is more of a delusion than a practice, and how do I educate my future children to be wise in their actions online when they are naive to the dangers of the world (and the internet). Telling a child (or anyone) "don't go here, don't post that" only has limited effectiveness, I myself am undoubtedly guilty of posting more information than I should and I have no doubt that given a meager effort and easily acquired tools one could discover my identity and play havoc in my life. Children of today and tomorrow need to be so careful and posses such foresight as to avoid costly mistakes when those qualities are not adequately developed until well into adulthood.
  • -4 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 23, 2012 9:01 PM
    The Internet, just like which the implementation of everything else, the US Constitution, wasn't done right. Sometime down the road you realize things should've been done differently.

    Personally, I don't think webcams or webcam apps or websites should be available to anyone under the age of 16.

    Parental controls on Windows, OS, Smartphones, Tablets, iPods HAVE TO get better.

    If there isn't already, there needs to be some sort of app that can detect if you're sharing pornography or not. Sexting is a big problem, as well.

    Also, they need to find a way to make it next to impossible to hide your identity online. Some of these sites allow you to link your profile to things like Facebook and Twitter, and the user can set up access to anyone or only those with Facebook, Twitter or whatever. Even so, it's better, but still not full-proof. Where there's a will (or in this case, a coward), there's a way.
  • 1 Hide
    wildkitten , November 23, 2012 10:10 PM
    What is really needed is for parents to act like parents and stop trying to be friends with their kids and keep track of what their children are doing and learn to say no and how to discipline.

    It has shocked me before to walk in a friends home and see them let their children watch some of the most explicit things even on Youtube with language and such.

    And I am not some "old prude". I am a 25 year old who is finishing my elementary education degree. It is shocking, and disheartening, some of the things that go on. My parents were very strict on me, and yes, I hated it at the time. Like all kids, I did not have the ability to comprehend and understand at the time what they were trying to do. That took more life experience. However now I am very grateful to them because they gave me a solid foundation.
  • 4 Hide
    Pyree , November 23, 2012 10:43 PM
    "Dad, where does the internet come from?"
    "Well son, I think it's time for the talk."
  • 0 Hide
    Raid3r , November 23, 2012 10:54 PM
    I disagree, almost completely. There are to many stories, and documented facts that *obscurity* does not equate to *security*; the TSA being a prime example. Personally, from what I have noticed that really ruins futures for kids, mid-tall people, and tall people, are really out dated and ridiculous laws. If a few misguided acts can "ruin" your future then that says more about our society and it's dictatorial ideals than the acts themselves. Just because we can "know" more about people than we used to, does nothing more than change, what you had not known......grow up.
  • 0 Hide
    fb39ca4 , November 24, 2012 4:43 AM
    mrmaiaFully agree with pretty much every word said by Schmidt, adding that the Internet can in fact drive those very same teens (and children) to sex, consensual or not - and so, sex education should be a part of the Internet.

    The internet *is* sex education.
  • 1 Hide
    bitmaiden , November 24, 2012 7:21 AM
    The thing is, many parents need the *internet talk* much more than their teenagers.
  • 0 Hide
    guardianangel42 , November 24, 2012 9:05 AM
    Sure, we can make this a mandatory part of parenting... just as soon as parents know enough about computers to give it.

    What's that you say? Most parents know less about the internet than a GeekSquad employee?

    Seriously, how can you really expect a parent to teach their child how to safely exist on the internet when a HUGE portion of the population is computer illiterate? How can you expect these parents to give a Internet Talk when they themselves don't even run antivirus?
  • 0 Hide
    anti-painkilla , November 25, 2012 6:46 PM
    Google launches its own web tutorials for teaching your children to be safe on the internet?

    Never use your own name on profiles.

    Never post photos of yourself unless you know every single one person that has access to them.

    Teach them how to set who can look at profile and photos.

    Tell them that any photos or videos that they take can and usually end up on the internet, so if they don't want anyone to see them, don't take them. And never believe anyone who says 'I promise I won't show them to anyone'.

    Ect...
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , November 26, 2012 2:44 AM
    Computer online talk.. As soon as they can use a computer.

    Sex talk, if they're old enough to ask they're old enough to know.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 26, 2012 8:41 PM
    I'm gonna say something unpopular that will be down-voted. Ready for it? Here it goes:

    Kids should not be allowed on the internet. A person should not be able to use the internet until they reach the age of majority. Many kids do not have the mental maturity to use the internet responsibly and therefore need to be protected from it before they do something they will regret. This is like why you don't allow kids to smoke, drink, or drive until they get older.
  • 0 Hide
    anti-painkilla , November 26, 2012 9:30 PM
    An Unpopular OpinionI'm gonna say something unpopular that will be down-voted. Ready for it? Here it goes:Kids should not be allowed on the internet. A person should not be able to use the internet until they reach the age of majority. Many kids do not have the mental maturity to use the internet responsibly and therefore need to be protected from it before they do something they will regret. This is like why you don't allow kids to smoke, drink, or drive until they get older.


    I actually have to agree somewhat. If you cannot regulate what your children can access on the internet and do not want to teach them about how to use it safely, then keep them off it.
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