TOXIC MUCH: STARS QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA
Tired of endless bullying and trolling on Twitter, actors have left the platform in order to escape the negativity
Twitter was abuzz on Saturday with as many as five actors deactivating their accounts citing negativity and social media toxicity that was bothering them. Sonakshi Sinha led the pack writing, “The first step to protecting your sanity is to stay away from negativity. And no where more of that than twitter these days!” Saqib Saleem was next to declare, “I’m Breaking Up with you Twitter”. In a lengthy post he wrote, “You seem to have gotten lost in all the hate everyone is so ready to throw at each other… I don’t need this kind of energy.” ‘Soon actors Aayush Sharma and Zaheer Iqbal followed suit. Sneha Ullal, too, hinted that she might also quit Twitter.
It all started when Kriti Sanon recently, lashed out at social media toxicity calling it “FAKEST. If you haven’t posted RIP or said something publicly, you’re considered not to be grieving”. She posted this after the death of her Raabta (2017) co-star Sushant Singh Rajput, post which, social media turned into a playground for trolls to bully Bollywood stars, blaming them for Rajput’s death.
A week ago, filmmaker Shashank Khaitan also deactivated his Twitter account, while filmmaker Karan Johar, who’s being massively trolled, after Rajput’s death, for promoting nepotistic culture in Bollywoo unfollowe everyone on Twitter, excep eight handles.
Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar explains what social media toxicity entails. He says, “I’ve stayed away from social media because there’s a lot of negativity, and trolling. It has empowered a lot of useless people with an opinion, without any repercussions.” Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, 51, calls it a “double-edged sword”, especially for public figures wherein if they comment or post, or even if they don’t, nasty feedback comes their way. “Social media is toxic. You get rattled mercilessly, even a spelling mistake gets one trolled. You post something and think ‘maine barabar kiya na?’, and check again, because you fear being trolled,” he says.
TOO MUCH PRESSURE
Another trend on social media, is to expect celebrities to post about whatever is the current issue. Echoing the sentiments Sanon highlighted, Bhandarkar adds, “I agree with Kriti. When you are close to somebody who passed away, you’re not in the frame of mind to say anything, you lack words, and want to mourn. People expect you to tweet, that becomes validation of the fact that you grieved.”
Actor Nimrat Kaur says she has never been one to take any pressure. “Many times, I choose to be silent, and know that you don’t need to add to the chorus. I really don’t give a damn about what people think. I don’t write or post anything to garner a reaction, or to become part of the hashtag club,” she says. Actor Amit Sadh, 37, on the other hand, feels social media also has parts that are not toxic. “Unfortunately, as human beings, when we’re engaged with provoking and uncomfortable things, it’s human psychology to want to shut the door, and call it toxic. You can always decide what part of social media you want to engage yourself in,” he says.
(Clockwise) Sonakshi Sinha, Saqib Saleem, Aayush Sharma, Kriti Sanon and Karan Johar