And why you should start treating it like one!
In our 20s, we start entering adulthood, and with that comes a slight transition in social media usage. We make profiles on ‘professional’ apps such as Facebook or LinkedIn and begin networking with various people in our prospective fields. As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but wonder… Will I be 40 and still using Snapchat? Will I still be making funny dance videos on TikTok in my 30s? Or will I be behind on the most current social media trends as I enter my late 20s? As we age, do we conform our social media habits to fit within the societal idea of adulthood, or is it that we can no longer keep up with the younger and hotter trends? To be honest, I don’t know what’s worse.
As we enter adulthood, there is a clear shift in the types of social platforms we use and how we use them. But as a new generation, we use these apps and websites in different ways than what they were intended for. For starters, people are using LinkedIn similarly to a dating app. With an extensive profile, a user’s page can tell you a lot about a person. You can find out various facts that are sometimes more telling than their personally curated dating app profile. More importantly, it can tell you a lot about their ambitions, focus, and work ethic. Do they already have an internship completed? Do they work at the pizza shop around the corner from you? Or are they attending the same college as you? LinkedIn offers valuable information that can tell you a lot about your new interests, and that’s exactly what’s been going on.
A little over two months ago, I set my friend up on what I’ll call a blind date. It was a perfect match, and they really hit it off together. A few days after, she quickly got a LinkedIn notification saying that someone had viewed her profile. To no surprise, it turns out it was the same guy. This guy (we’ll call him LinkedIn Man) had viewed her profile, leaving her with a notification and many thoughts. A few weeks later, as I was updating my profile, I noticed an invitation from some guy I had no mutual connections with. I didn’t think much of it until I looked later that day saw that he had followed me and DMed me on Instagram. Is sliding in on LinkedIn the new thing? I quickly found out that I, along with my friend, weren’t the only people being sought after through LinkedIn. There were plenty of “LinkedIn Men” scoping out their own interests.
LinkedIn offers a lot of valuable information. You can look up businesses and see their employees. You can see who attends or attended the same college as you. And you can even get a slight gist of what their ambitions are and how hardworking they already are. The platform will also notify you if someone has been looking at your profile, a double-edged sword (if you ask me). You can use this feature to your advantage by giving someone a very subtle hint that you have your eyes on them, but if you are planning to do a deep dive stalk, you may want to upgrade so that you can stalk incognito.
While age may change the types of social media we use, I understand that newer generations will use these apps in new and innovative ways. LinkedIn, a platform conventionally used for networking and in professional settings, is now being used like dating apps… and I might have to try it.
*cover image courtesy of Pinterest
What do you think?