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From my 12-year-old niece

“Facebook is for old people — well, you know . . . parents and people that age.”

I am a very lucky aunt. I get to spend the summer with my terrific niece. She is very excited to hang out with me and my sister, Alanna. In fact, she wants to be our summer intern — we are content marketers. Here are some things I’ve already learned from the kid since school ended.

She Means Business

I was surprised to hear her express an interest in working with us this summer. I guess it’s her way to spend time with us, but I think it’s genetic, too. When my sisters and I were growing up, we always played “restaurant” or “office.” We are hard workers — even at play.

My niece looked at me — very seriously — after telling me she wanted to be our intern, and started her salary negotiations. I thought, “Oh boy, I can’t wait to hear this figure.” She said, “Stacy, I can’t work for less than $2.00/hour.”

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I told her that if she does some odd jobs for us, we will reward her with something better than $2.00/hour. I am proud to see her already exploring ways to ask for what she wants. Now, we just have to teach her to aim a little higher.

She’s Ready to Put in the Work

Since we don’t have any actual work to give her, we’ve put together some learning experiences this summer. Alanna and I set our niece up with a blog, and we’ve begun giving her writing assignments.

My niece writes stories about social media and pre-teen/teens. She’s sharing some of her creative writing and other interests, too. We’ve talked about royalty-free photography — what’s safe to use, what’s not. We’re teaching her about citing sources in her content. She even gave me an editing credit for proofreading her posts!

Alanna and I shared our niece’s recent work on social media, and she was thrilled to see >100 pageviews on her blog in day one. I was thrilled to see her excitement over her work.

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She’s Interested in Social Media – Even Though She’s Not on It

My niece does have a Snapchat app that she’s only allowed to use with certain friends and family members. Outside of that, she’s a social media observer.

She will check out her mom’s or another family member’s Facebook app from time to time. She would love to have an Instagram account. She knows who all the celebrities are who are big on social media, and she seems to have some insight into how businesses use social media to target young people.

I talked to her about setting up a social presence for her site — upon approval by her mom — so she can learn more about distributing and promoting content. Since I’m monitoring the site, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to set up a Twitter and Facebook page that I admin with her.

She met the Twitter suggestion with a frown but didn’t explain her disinterest.  She greeted the Facebook recommendation with an almost-eye-roll and the comment, “Facebook is for old people — well, you know . . . parents and people that age.” (Funny post on Buzzfeed: 27 Reasons Old People On Facebook Are The Funniest.)

LOL!

Oh, wait . . . I’m one of those “old people.”


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I’m sure I’ll learn more from her this summer about what kids these days are thinking when it comes to working and what “old people” are into. I’ll keep you posted.

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