Love in the time of net natter

A celeb's choice of partner seems to get the social media world into a tizzy... we explore why.

This weekend, social media was rife with reports of former cricketer and Pakistani politician Imran Khan’s marriage proposal to his spiritual guide and much younger Bushra Maneka. Rumours have it that the 66-year-old actor even proposed to her. Twitter got its newest topic to obsess about soon after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) official Twitter handle shared the statement on Sunday.

When Milind Soman posted pictures with his girlfriend, also much younger, even that created a furour among the celebrity obsessed. From Hollywood celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds and Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves to B-town stars Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, many celebrity couples faced the heat from the public for choosing to marry someone that might not be the best in terms of age... or other characteristics.

Even while we watch and applaud their movies on screen, people tend to go berserk and on a criticising spree when it comes to a celebrity’s decision in their personal lives. Some celebrities have even been compelled to leave social media after suffering nasty abuse at the hands of trolls. So what is that thin line between privacy and a public persona? What makes twitter world buzz nastily about such things?

City-based psychologist Priyanka MB feels that the mental processes we create to adapt to the ‘herd’ is what influences judgements, feelings and behaviour as a whole.

“As humans, we function with a set of shared beliefs, moral attitudes and ideas which operate as a unifying force within society. The inability to listen to oneself and pay attention to one’s thoughts and feelings, often tends to spill into blaming and demoralising another’s life situation. The cognitive distortion of generalisation and labelling is a common pattern observed and it’s a major reason which makes people think these celebrities or anyone, for that matter, should lead a life within the outlines of good and bad drawn by them,” Priyanka explains.

Even as social media is abuzz over Imran Khan’s marriage proposal, many actors stand in favour of his freedom to make personal choices. “It’s his choice. We are nobody to comment or criticise. As much as a public figure he is, he has his own personal life and choices too,’’ says Sandalwood actress Deeptii Mohan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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