Forbes Magazine recently carried an article where actor Imran Khan explains why he doesn’t use social media. I’m always interested in the social media angle – interesting to read his reasons. And also interesting points if one would like to build a case for being on social media.
Imran starts by addressing privacy on Facebook and expressing that the government doesn’t need to know about our music choices or who we are married to – so why should Facebook have that information? And we volunteer that information to Facebook willingly. Agreed. Except, one can still have a Facebook profile and not divulge much. I can still be connected with whoever I want to be connected with on Facebook without sharing my music or relationship preferences. I have a few friends who do that remarkably well. You can’t even tell – by just looking at their Facebook profiles – whether they are male or female. Good luck figuring out whether they are married or not unless you know them in person.
I could never have reconnected with literally hundreds of my acquaintances from school and college without Facebook. Prospects look at my work ( photography ) and reach out to me to hire me. Facebook works for me as a personal as well as professional network. It has it’s uses and I tweak it according to my requirements.
Imran also talks about “check-ins”. He’s a Bollywood celebrity and I can understand it is impractical to give details of your whereabouts – but again, there’s selective sharing there if one is so inclined. I’m not inclined – but mainly because I’m worried about my safety – being a woman. I don’t want everyone to know where I am. Hell, I’m no celebrity and yet I get followed! I don’t do check-ins unless I’ve already left the place or it’s a large social gathering & I’m covering the event.
I do completely agree with his reasons for the Tor Network sign-up. But again, it’s not like his walking on the street isn’t being watched either. Especially for someone like him, I can only imagine paparazzi stalking etc. And what if it’s a city like London? London literally is the most-CCTV’d city in the world. I didn’t even pick my nose when I was in London. So where does one draw the line? Never step out of the house?
Imran’s entire paragraph about Twitter is alarming. “People have direct access” – well yes, that’s the point of Twitter – the ability to interact with people you might never meet in real life and yet have an honest, open conversation with them. There’s a “block” button and again, there’s selective sharing. Imran says that even Amitabh Bachhan is on Twitter. Of course he is and if he makes a sexist tweet, he gets a piece of the public’s mind. The only thing alarming about that is that people / celebrities who had demi-god status earlier are now, healthily, being questioned and found out to be non-flawless human beings. Ooooh. I shudder. I can understand that might be scary for those previously-demi-god-status people but Imran is hardly in that category.
“What, in my opinion, is wrong about Twitter is that it gives everyone access to you.” Wrong for some, perfect for others.
“Now, take a guy who wakes up one morning, he hasn’t showered, hasn’t dressed, and he sends out a message, “F*** you, you are a b******.” And it lands in Mr Bachchan’s inbox. Who is he, that he should be allowed that access? Try saying that to his face, his security guys will ensure he is never heard from again.” Ugh. I don’t even want to contest the thoughtlessness of this paragraph. The Block button ensures that person is never heard from again. I don’t have the budget for security guys. Well unless the husband counts *wink*
“Part of living life in the public eye is knowing that people like you and dislike you and that’s okay. But if you dislike me, sit in your room and stew in it. Choke on your dislike, choke on your hate.” I’m not Bollywood actor but even I get hate and dislike. I thought I’d learn something from Imran about handling public feedback and dealing with it like an adult. I’m guessing I could instead share some of my experiences with him so he isn’t so upset by imagined hate? No one truly hates you Imran, people either love you or are supremely jealous. You can always block them and yet provide direct access to the thousands who do love you!
“There are more people in Mumbai who read Bombay Times! Ten lakh people around the globe is not enough to give me a day’s collections in Mumbai.” Aha! So Imran recognizes that social media can affect “collections”! He goes on to disparage Twitter and talk up Bombay Times. My issue with this is that these are two very different mediums and both have very different target audiences. It isn’t a simple “this or that” situation. I don’t read newspapers but I am on Twitter and yet I know about Imran Khan. I don’t even watch too many Bollywood films. I read his Forbes article because someone shared it on Twitter!
We’re making movies. We’re just telling entertaining stories, we want people to come in, watch a film, enjoy it and go out. You don’t need to treat it like international espionage.” Haha. Just get on Twitter Imran! Your fans probably think it Is international espionage that you aren’t on the social media platform yet! Believe me most of them will not be reading your Forbes article and will never know your real reasons.
All this stuff takes too much time if not managed well. And that’s just the thing – I can turn off my laptop / phone / internet whenever I want. But I rarely ever WANT. If we did a Naina vs. Imran to measure how much time each of us spends with family and friends and on work, I’d still come out on top despite being on social media.
You have to tweak what works for you and if you’re not enjoying it, your’re either not doing it right or it’s just not for you. I love Twitter ( @Naina ). Facebook ( Naina.co ) is ok – mainly because not everyone is on Twitter. I really enjoy Instagram ( @NainaCo ) because it gives such a different insight into people’s lives – the same people on Twitter sound and seem so much more friendly and human on Instagram. I have a love / hate relationship with Pinterest ( NainaCo ) because they still don’t allow batch pinning! What nonsense. Pinning each image individually is just a pain in the ass.
Apart from that there’s my blog – which I love. And my website that I couldn’t be arsed to update. And I don’t even do any PR or advertising or Page 3. And I don’t have a team. My goal is to do work i.e. SHOOT, EDIT and SHARE. And the most convenient and popular means available to me? Social Media.
Don’t forget to watch this : Imran Khan vs. Homophobia by AIB ( All India Bakchod )
The Forbes article could have been edited better.
You’ve seem Imran on this blog earlier as part of the Chivas Studio story.