LinkedIn Age Requirement Updated, Bad Idea?

LinkedIn is a great social network to connect to other professionals and share ideas. LinkedIn has recently updated its user agreement allowing younger teens to join the services. Ant Pruitt shares his thoughts and comments on this update. — Social media definitely has its place in society today. Both Facebook and Twitter have proven this over the recent years. Invitations to “Follow us on Twitter,” or “Like us on Facebook” are prominent everywhere in the media. LinkedIn, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to social media. It was developed as a place for professionals to network — a place to grow your business and your personal brand. LinkedIn wasn’t about cat pictures or animated GIFs. It was supposed to be polished. Right?


Both image credits: Ant Pruitt for

Now LinkedIn has made a bold move to change the minimum age required to open an account and use their networking service. I personally found this disturbing. Why would LinkedIn do this? It is a strong company and social network. It has found its niche, providing services to the masses. It’s not just another social network.

Who remembers MySpace? Sure MySpace has made a slight comeback recently, but I remember seeing pages of bad HTML tags and auto-looping mp3 files. It was not a great experience in my opinion. Too much clutter. Too noisy. Then I was told about a service called Facebook that seemed to be geared toward “adults and professionals.” I’m not totally sure of how true that statement was. But 10 years ago, Facebook did look much better than MySpace and seemed to not have as much filth from teens and drunken college students.

Fast forward a few years and Facebook has morphed into a semi-clone of MySpace (in my opinion). The site now features cat pictures everywhere, drunken lunacy and an occasional birthday wish. Aside from the privacy concerns of Facebook, it just seems to be less-sophisticated. This is when LinkedIn got my attention.

LinkedIn, at one time, seemed to be the place for an old fuddy-duddy like myself. No streaming music, no keg stands and no comment trolls. I signed up and loved it. I’ve always felt that this is what Facebook could have been. As I dug into uses of Facebook and Twitter, I found there was less sophistication and also a sense of a younger generation taking over and trashing up the place. This is exactly what I don’t want on LinkedIn.

Sure, sign up teenagers. Allow them to put their resumes out there and promote themselves. There just might be a few promising youths on the network looking to make a splash in a particular industry. The next brilliant mind for entrepreneurship may be there. But what about the bandwagon enrollees that join because they heard of the next and new social network? Please, oh please don’t allow LinkedIn to become the next noisy social network.


What are your thoughts on the new age requirement? Do you use  LinkedIn to connect with other similar professionals? What ramifications do you feel are afoot with letting today’s youths into this service? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

I’m Ant Pruitt for

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on by following this link.




  • I couldn’t agree with you more! Even when I was young in high school, Facebook was only for college kids… Now I get friend requests from children I used to baby sit who are now in middle school. LinkedIn is such a sophisticated way to network, connect, and share useful information without having to scroll through baby pictures and daily status’s about traffic and the weather. Good article AP!

  • I joined LinkedIn only reluctantly, and only after invitations from two other people I know. I do appreciate the professional approach previously used. I would definitely drop membership in LinkedIn if it went to cat pics and keg parties. Hopefully the company running LinkedIn will think long and hard about lowering the bar.