Networking and social media personas: what Jenny thought of our YouthLab launch

Jenny, a volunteer for YouthNet, attended the YouthLab launch appearing on the panel. Jenny gave her views on the research and social media.

The Mix Staff

The launch of YouthLab was a great success, as we presented our new piece of research and started conversations about how young people use social media.

One of our volunteers, Jenny, sat on our panel to give us a young person’s view. Jenny had lots of insightful opinions. She tells out how it went for her…

I was lucky enough to be picked as the young person to sit on the panel at the launch of YouthLab, attending the event alongside 110 professionals from the youth sector, third sector, and other companies. When I arrived, I didn’t really know what to expect. Chris, the CEO of YouthNet, went over the main points of the research, which followed 17 young people’s use of social media, over a three-week period. You can read about it HERE. I was at the launch to offer a youth opinion on the findings. It took me some time to really figure out what I thought.


Finding out what kind of social media user I am

The thing that struck a chord with me was the idea of four overarching ‘profiles’ of social media users. I quickly realised that I am mostly in the ‘expressing myself’ category, mainly using social media to share my voice and opinions on things. I try to be as authentically myself as possible, and I’m open and honest about tough issues. The way I like to describe it is connecting with like-minded people, in an attempt to positively influence the world. This is how I approach most things in life, and it’s definitely why I’m in the youth sector! With this new take on defining myself, I saw the event as an opportunity to express myself and network.


Missing out on real-life interactions

A lot more young people are tuning in to how social media can work for them. Not just in terms of ‘micro fame’, (another of the four profiles) but also for their current or future careers. With the rise of companies recruiting through Twitter, the ‘millennials’ have realised the power of their native digital skills, and are using them to their advantage. This is great, but maybe some of us (me!) have disregarded the impact of real world networking. The evening was my chance to rectify that, so I vowed to go all in.


Time to mingle

During the course of the evening, I talked to about ten people at some length, discussed what I hope to do in my career, and was given several business cards. After a glass of wine, and ‘call us’ ringing in my ears, I took the tube home – tired from a long day, but excited about possible opportunities. As a self-confessed ‘awkward’ twenty-something, I can now attest that networking doesn’t have to be as bad as you imagine, and can actually be fun!


Published on 21-Aug-2015