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Will Teens Flock to LinkedIn?

If you know any teenagers, or have your own, you may have heard that Facebook is quickly losing its “cool”.

According to a recent Pew survey, more teens dislike the growing trend of adults using the site, the constant “drama” that seems to appear there, and people excessively sharing content. The study also concluded that more teens are flocking to sites such as Twitter. 

Regarding the constant “drama” on Facebook, one teen I surveyed said:

[Facebook] is sometimes discouraging. It is almost as if people can control the way the world sees them and we all believe they have this wonderful life. It is just another popularity contest.

Effective September 12, 2013, LinkedIn, a social networking site that acts as an online resume, lowers its age requirement to 14. With this announcement, the company introduces LinkedIn University Pages.

LinkedIn University pages will provide countless opportunities for college applicants. Here are a few that LinkedIn mentioned:

  • Join the conversation: This is a great place to get regular updates about campus news and activities from the schools themselves, to ask questions and engage with both the campus community and alumni of the schools.

  • Check out notable alumni: What kind of leaders does this school produce? From astronauts to architects, executives to entertainments, explore the notable alumni who have done great things since graduation.

  • Build your network: Transform those brilliant, creative, hard-working people you meet (or will meet) on campus into a lifelong professional network. Alumni can reconnect with former classmates, and students can cement relationships with current and future classmates.

I also see LinkedIn University Pages providing high school students with the opportunities to learn how to create a positive reputation. High school students will quickly learn that no one on LinkedIn posts about the food they eat, the places they travel, and what they purchase. They will quickly learn that LinkedIn is all about professional development and having conversations that move ideas over the course of years.

I believe that the teens that use LinkedIn will be much savvier about what they post, when they post, and to whom they share it with. 

Many teens already understand the importance of having a positive online reputation. One teenager told me, “I know some employers look at what applicants post on social media, so if the teen posts responsibly then that may help him get a job.”

Teens aren’t going to immediately flock to LinkedIn.

When teens I surveyed were asked if they used LinkedIn, their common responses were, “What’s that?” and “Isn’t that for adults?” For those of us who are parents, we can help our teenagers understand that we “grown-ups” make choices about our future and encourage them to use sites such as LinkedIn for professional development.

The advice that I give to any teenager that I come across is to always think before they post.

They should ask themselves, “Would I want my grandma to see this?” And now with the introduction of LinkedIn University Pages, I would encourage them to ask themselves, “Would you want your future college to see this?”

Ethan Parry is a public relations professional who is particularly passionate about social media, SEO, and content development topics. Tweet him at @ethanparry3.

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