Virtual | Reality | | By Christel Weinert

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a ‘Social Media Use’ seminar hosted by ENS Africa on behalf of our team. The room was covered in the ‘uniform’ dress code of the Financial Industry. Surrounded by ties, suits and LBD’s, I felt slightly undressed and out of my element, until the workshop began, and I was reminded that even though our industries and backgrounds may have differed, we are all connected by a very real, progressive and prevalent network of online communications- Social Media.

Every subject which was discussed, always reverted to the same focal point- whether you are aware of it or not, we all have an online digital footprint which essentially represents the way we think, how we conduct ourselves and the way we choose to interface with others. It is our responsibility to take ownership and responsibility for the types of platforms we engage with/on and further responsibility with what and how we choose to voice our opinions. One of the most effective and basic actions you can do when posting is to ask yourself whether you would say the same thing face-to-face in person out of the digital realm.

The digital world is seemingly so intangible, yet it makes the most palpable impacts on our personal emotions, lives and businesses alike. My favourite marketing story is that of FedEx. It was only at the end of last year that I learnt about the famous optical illusion hidden within it. If you look closely at the space between the ‘E’ and the ‘X’, you will notice a small arrow hidden there. Sheer marketing brilliance as the arrow represents speed and precision for the brand and the service it provides.

I believe our digital footprint has the same influence on our lives as the arrow has on the FedEx brand. Every ‘like’, post, comment, share and opinion is seemingly masked and concealed, yet we leave an unconscious data breadcrumbs trail around the internet. I have a heightened awareness now about the necessity of a seamless synergy between my virtual and physical existing self.

I have always had a love for literature and words and the ability it possesses to shape and mould ideas, conversations, content and perspective. I thought that I would use this opportunity to share some helpful questions to ask yourself the next time you are undecided on your post, both in a personal and business capacity.

*What is my motive in posting this?

*Am I posting about something when I should be taking action?

*Does this post have value?

*Is this post helpful?

*Am I looking for conflict?

*How would I feel about this post in a day? In a year? In 10 years?

*Will it reach the right audience?

Ultimately, people are all different and we don’t all fit the same mould. What offends me, may not necessarily offend you. However, I do believe that we all possess a moral compass which allows us to discern between what is right and wrong. It is up to us to use our discretion wisely and as a result, create an effective virtual world where our online presence in both our business and personal capacity will act as gravity to all things good > communication, brand awareness, networking, enhancing brand loyalty, leverage social advertising and a plethora of benefits which are all worth ‘liking’.

Written by: Christel Weinert (
27 February 2018