Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen just wrote a book, “The New Digital Age.” In it, they say that having a conversation with kids about how to use the Internet is “a more important conversation than the birds and the bees.”
Cohen was asked about that statement on CBS this morning. He believes kids are getting online and sharing things years before they start thinking about sex. So it’s as important to speak with them about the permanence of the Internet as it is about physically harmful things.
“Kids are coming online younger and faster than any other time in history, and that’s true from the United States to Saudi Arabia,” Cohen said. “The conversation is relevant at a very young age. I think the main lesson to teach my future daughter, besides the fact that I’m introducing her digital identity before she’s even born, is nothing gets deleted once it’s put online.”
In an earlier interview with The Huffington Post, Cohen elaborated:
“Our conclusion in the book is that parents need to talk to their kids and start early about the importance of online privacy and security, years before they even talk about the birds and the bees…I remember in health class in elementary school where, you know, they scare you away from using drugs, they scare you away from having unsafe sexual activity, they scare you away from using alcohol and tobacco. This is part of that conversation.”