Young people need to cultivate pro-success habits as they use social media to increase their entrepreneurial potentials as well as grow their small businesses online.

The availability of the Internet and increased use of smart phones have heightened the magic and allure of social media. If not managed, it can become a tool of entrapment and regrets instead of an effective channel of communication.

Young people have instant access to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Skype and Wikipedia. They can blog, create, interact, share or exchange information, content, ideas, pictures or videos or participate in virtual communities and networks at the push of a button.

Smart young entrepreneurs make money using the various social media platforms which have become engaging, educating, entertaining and enterprising sub-culture that provide a haven of uncensored self-expression for young people.

That is primarily where its weakness lies. Any platform that offers freedom without a degree of mindfulness can ruin juvenile innovativeness and entrepreneurship.

Prof. Pius Adesanmi, told a story the previous week about his young protégé, who suffered from what he described as ‘assured self-destruct syndrome,’ which disqualified him (the protégé) from getting an employment in a season of galloping youth unemployment in the labour market.

The young man had applied for a job and had Prof. Adesanmi as one of his referees. He made the recruitment shortlist but the potential employer had a concern.

There appeared to be a character mismatch following a punctilious review of the young man’s innocuous postings on his Facebook page. He had sometime in the past regaled his fans about his distaste for early rising and this was the quality that the potential employer required in their employees at the point of recruitment.

The professor’s appeal could not erase the impressions the potential employer got from the young man’s habits on the social media. For the want of mindfulness on the social media, the young man lost the job.

The line between the demands of legal and ethical conducts for young adults in real life and social media is paper thin. In recent times, there are new laws promulgated or being considered to regulate how people conduct themselves and relate with others on the social media.

Whether in paid or self-employment, young people should be mindful of the rule of appropriateness and be circumspect in their conducts in the social media sphere.

Mind your reputation

A lecturer and child rights enthusiast, Oruoma Odum, cautioned young entrepreneurs on social media to protect their integrity and guard against habits that can bring disrepute to their personality or others. They should refrain from nudity, obscenity and conducts that do not promote diversity and affirmative behaviour.

Mind your language

An entrepreneur and youth activist, Tokunbo Akomolede, said that social media is more about positive networking and product marketing than counterproductive socialisation. He wanted the communications of young entrepreneurs to showcase conciseness, clarity, correctness, coherence, completeness, concreteness and courtesy.

Mind your content

Young entrepreneurs should filter their thoughts, manage their excitement and discipline their finger-to-button habits. They should separate their personal life from business or social life.  They have a responsibility to control the impulse to post or share comments that are not meant for public consumption.

Mind your time

Young people may spend endless time on the social media as a consumer. The young entrepreneurs cannot afford such luxury. Time spent online should be managed to reflect a disciplined approach to networking. Young entrepreneurs should not sacrifice their real time relationships and engagements for long hours with smart phones and laptops.

Mind your relationship

Young entrepreneurs should use the social media to make, win and keep friends and clients instead of losing relationships.

Counterproductive behaviours such as rudeness and aggressiveness should not occur in online interactions. Other people’s space and rights should be respected at all times.

Mind your manners

Access to the smartphone is not an excuse to offend other people online. A gentleman or lady in real time should remain one online when engaging others on social media.

Mind your temperaments

Most times, some young people throw tantrums on social media. This is a trap that young entrepreneurs should avoid. Comments that are written in anger or rage to third parties are difficult to retrieve. They hurt. It is better to control the anger than make unguarded comments or insult people online.

Mind the law and ethics

There are universal natural laws, code of conducts, ethics and etiquettes that guide the use of social media tools and regulate pro-success habits of young entrepreneurs. They are not designed to limit freedom of expressions or stifle innovativeness.

Like the referee on the football field, they serve to make young entrepreneurs play to win by avoiding the errors of the knight whose kingdom was destroyed because he lost the battle for the want of a nail

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