Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kids These Days

Hey all,
No comments on the Drunk Patient blog. I am very surprised. I thought it would elicit some funny stories from you guys. But nothing.

Today's topic.

I went to this seminar called "Technical Pitfalls" given by Defender Ministries sponsored by my kids' school. This is an organization that educates teens and parents separately on the dangers in our computers.

This organization is made up of two techies that have children. And in their lives they were both challenged by the "devil" lurking in their computers. They are at their computers every day and negative influences are a mouse click away. Both of these guys admitted to getting involved in this temptation and vowed to try to help their kids.

I want to back up a second and tell you that if you have children or plan to have children and you don't want them chewed up and spit out, it is time to wise up. The computer is a dangerous place for kids and teens (and adults for that matter, but we know better).

Okay, you are a pretty tech-minded dentists just like me.
You read blogs, you can fix the minor problems on your know how to back up and you think you are the shiznit.
I have some bad news...You don't hold a candle to the sex industry.
I am here to tell you that the porn people are WWWAAAAYYYYY ahead of you.
Just when you thought you got everything taken care of, industry invents more things.

Let's talk about a couple things we know about...

Facebook.....I got that.
Problem with FB is that it opens up so much stuff for a teenager. We had a kid expelled at our school last year because he told someone he was going to kill him on FB.
Turns out this other kid was bullying this kid and he had had enough.
The kid came from a great family just trying to do the best they can. problem.
I don't think you can get adult movies on Netflix, but you can get everything but...
Just something else you have to watch out for.

Blogs....dude, I know about blogs.
Did you know there are more blogs about sex than any other topic?
Dentistry a close second.
Do yourself a favor and do NOT Google sex and blogs together.

I have a Twitter account. I don't know how to use it, but I have it.
I know there is a potential for this instant messaging stuff to get HUGE, and we have to be aware of how kids will use it.

How about Hulu?
Do you know what this is?
Starting to get a little more obscure? This is a site on Internet that is basically a hub for all TV shows. You can go on this site and watch any TV show ever played on TV.
That is cool if you want to watch old What's Happening episodes but again it is something you have to be aware of. I don't know if you have ever seen Nip and Tuck or any other FX shows but....

Let's talk about cell phones for a second.
Sure cell phones are good for our teens. You can get GPS systems on them. You can get a hold of your kids right away. They can call you when they are in trouble.
Cell phones are great, but they open up a whole other world of trouble they can get into.
The guys says, and I quote, "What is it with kids? When they get a cell phone and they want to take pictures of themselves naked?"
It seems we have been hearing so much lately of girls taking pictures of themselves naked and sending it to a boy that they like.
Now when this boy gets this picture, according to this guy, if he doesn't report this to the authorities he is committing a crime.
Now again, if he is like any other teen-aged boy and send this picture to all of his friends, he has just committed a FEDERAL offense of distributing porn. This is a big deal.
So you are 13 years old and you send out a picture to your buddies and all of a sudden you are a labeled a sex offender for the rest of your life.

Then of course to a lesser level there is sexting. I do it, but I am an adult and I am married to my girlfriend. But I don't want my 14-year-old getting all hot and bothered by his girlfriend's texts.

Okay how about these things.....

BitTorrent. Ever heard of it? Me neither.
How about Phishing?
How about ChatRoulette?

BitTorrent is a file sharing system on the Internet.
"The result is a better digital entertainment experience for everyone."
For everyone, that is clever. But what about if your kid is sharing porn with someone else?

Phishing....Well according to Wikipedia....In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Apparently what this is, is that you put yourself into this pool of people and the computer randomly hooks you up with someone else and you chat.
This sounds like fun if you are a sound adult. But it is just another way that weird people can get a hold of your unsuspecting kids.

Unsuspecting....that is a good word.
Because most of this stuff is used for good. But like I said before, porn people and weird people are on the cutting edge of taking something that has been invented for mainstream stuff and making it porn-friendly.

Mostly the issue is the relationship we have with our kids. We all know that this kind of thing with kids is a hard issue to discuss, but they have to be educated about this stuff. You have to know what your kids are doing on the computer. You have to have filters that won't let your kids stray.
I am going to talk about this on Friday. How do we talk to our kids? Can you talk to your kids? You have to. I have to.
I feel like if I can give them the sex talk, I can give them the porn talk.

I hope I didn't stress you out.
I know when I left this meeting I was totally stressed out. But we have to educate and then pray. What else can we do?

Have a great Wednesday.

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