Coming Soon on LinkedIn: 14-Year-Olds

Site hopes teens will use it to choose colleges

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2013 9:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Your LinkedIn feed could soon be full of such awesome networking connections as "paperboy" and "babysitter": The site is dropping its minimum age next month, and come Sept. 12, 14-year-olds will be able to sign up, the Wall Street Journal reports. Why 14? That's the legal age at which US kids can start working, and they're also presumably in high school at that age. LinkedIn is also adding "University Pages" in the hopes that colleges will fill out profiles similar to the company profiles that already exist on the social networking site; young teens could then connect to colleges in the same way adults (the minimum age for the site is currently 18) connect to potential employers.

LinkedIn will, of course, put higher security settings on high school students' accounts. Even so, not everyone thinks this is a great idea:

  • "What’s scarier than a 14-year-old girl choosing her sexiest Facebook profile pic? Maybe a 14-year-old girl inflating her résumé on her new LinkedIn profile," writes Josh Constine on TechCrunch. "Childhood used to be a time of self-exploration, but the Internet is pushing kids to define themselves early and put that facade on display."
  • "Nothing says 'I've resigned myself to all the dreary bits of adulthood; never again will I gurgle with childish joy at some delightful sight in nature; there is no such thing as magic' quite as clearly as the decision to make oneself a LinkedIn," writes Callie Beusman on Jezebel. "RIP adolescence. I miss when the only thing laying siege upon you was sexting."

  (Shutterstock)
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