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Coming off the recent elections, you might be wondering how students feel about politics, their outlook on life and —given the success of Facebook and the movie “The Social Network” — how young people feel about social media content, privacy and employment prospects.

A recent study conducted by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide among 802 students ages 16–26, reveals some interesting results.

Key Findings

Students don’t trust politicians:

Compared to adults, students are more likely to have no opinion on President Obama:

While students skew toward being Democratic, more than one-in-four describe themselves as Independent:

 

Students’ most influential person is their teacher/professor:

Roughly, seven in 10 students are not concerned about social media privacy because they manage their privacy settings:

 

More than a third of students believe that content posted on social networking sites will not impact their employment opportunities. An additional 20 percent of students report that they wouldn’t want to work for a company that reviewed their social media content and declined to extend an offer:

 

Despite current economic conditions, students are largely optimistic about the future:

 

While some may say that students are naive and wildly optimistic, it seems that — given their positive outlook and transparent attitudes toward social media content — students would value marketing communications that are upbeat, yet straightforward and honest. While they may not want news to be sugarcoated, doom and gloom communications won’t fit their world view.

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