There used to be a time when the closest we could get to a celebrity’s personal life was when he or she decided to answer personal questions in an interview. But now, with the advent of technology and the boom of social media, our favorite stars are no longer in a galaxy far, far away. They are at a tweet’s distance and now seem more human than ever. But what does this mean for the celebrity?
While this gives them a chance to interact and stay in touch with their fans through an easier method, it has also put their privacy at risk. Last weekend was best remembered for the leak of private photos and videos of South Indian film stars through singer Suchitra Karthik’s allegedly-hacked Twitter account. The incident once again threw open the question of an actor’s privacy and where should they draw the line on what to share with others.
Actress Nivetha Pethuraj says, “Your lifestyle is in your hands. Everyone needs to be careful and focused on who they trust, both in the industry and outside of work too. There is no privacy for anyone; even normal phones calls can be tapped. We, being in the public eye have to take an extra step and be aware of the people around us all the time.”
Talking about being judged by the public, Nivetha adds, “Not everyone is going to like us or agree with what we have to say. So, their approval is not in our hand. Actors or otherwise, we have to accept things as they come to us.”
Tollywood actress Lavanya Tripathi emphasises on being responsible when another person is in the picture. “It’s simple — I can post whatever I want about my life. But have to draw a line when it comes to the lives of others. With social media, things have become quite tough, especially for a person like me, who is extremely private. You go to a party, and it is possible that someone clicked a picture and uploaded it online. There are times when we want to be on our own, away from the world. Yes, it’s scary to think of these things, but then, I have my own life, do the things I love and meet the people I want to. I don’t think I can be bogged down that way.”
Pia Bajpai stresses on the simple concept of being wary of the content on one’s phone. “It’s never too tough to be careful. It’s easy — if you have something on your phone that cannot be shared with others, then don’t keep it on your phone at all. It is a device, and anything can go wrong with it. As actors, the day we decide to be in the spotlight, we also understand that our privacy might be compromised and decide to take it head on. The audience is a huge part of our profession. It’s up to us as to what we let them know about us.”
While it is a scary proposition to have so much of scrutiny around you, one can’t deny the perks of being on social media. In fact, actress Amy Jackson believes that the positives of technology and social media outweigh the negatives. However, she understands how tough it can be. “Being in the limelight puts us in a vulnerable position. It’s important and inevitable to grow a thick skin, but we must bear in mind that we may be a role model to many. So it’s necessary to stay sensible. It’s a scary world we live in, nothing is a 100 per cent safe anymore, I think.
There are pros and cons to any type of technology we use. It is a way of communication and a tool to expand. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives but it is annoying how the privacy of actors is at stake constantly.”
(With inputs from Pranita Jonnalagedda)