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    Harssh A Singh: Vir Das episode isn’t some desire for social change, but probably he wants to follow Hassan Minaj, Trevor Noah, and get into US network TV

    Harssh A Singh says that social media has revolutionised our lifestyle, and he is unable to remember what it used to be like before social media existed. This invention, according to the actor, also led to complete polarisation and alienation.
    “It's not about keeping in touch. It's about advertising your personal beliefs, showing off, influencing others, so much of our self-esteem now rests on what people see of you on your social media,” says Harssh, who has done films such as Thappad (2020), Kabir Singh (2019), Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) and the web series Bandish Bandits.
    People follow celebrities on social media and emulate them, so it is a huge responsibility on the latter’s part to be responsible. Harssh feels this responsibility comes with being a celebrity.
    “Even before social media, film stars and pop stars were followed and emulated everywhere. But a lot of my celeb friends ask, is it our responsibility if we are emulated? Now that is the question that everyone must answer for themselves. I believe that once you become a celebrity, whether you like it or not, you become a role model. We enjoy a lot of perks being celebrities, so then setting a decent example is a small price to pay. So on social media, we must be careful, what we share and how it might influence anyone out there. Every action is your own responsibility, because you will suffer the consequences for it. That is ok because as celebs we enjoy a lot more perks as compared to a regular person,” he adds.

    The number of followers has become an obsession with almost every person. “Yes, and that’s sad. I don’t worry about my followers. One should only be concerned with people you love and respect. You can lose fans and followers and gain them back. It’ll always be a cycle. Treat followers and fans with kindness, and gratitude. Forget the number of followers, count the number of people you can count on in your hour of need, and who all count on you in their hour of need,” he says.

    The world of social media is fake, yet everyone wants attention. “The more famous you are or the more followers you have, the better the work you will get. Let's face it, the entire Vir Das episode that has happened is not because of some desire for social change, but because he probably wants to follow Hassan Minaj or Trevor Noah, and get into network television in America. The very act of sharing intimate stuff with abject strangers reeks of the desire for attention and so it’s not an intimate act at all,” he explains.

    Social media has become an ego massage tool and often disturbs the regular life of actors. Countering this view, Harssh begins by saying that nobody ‘needs’ to do anything.

    “It’s up to the person what they want to do. You can survive and thrive on the basis of the quality of your work.  Look at Pratik Gandhi, did social media have anything to do with his success? No. He worked his @*% off and the quality of his work made the whole world sit up and notice.  Do what you want, and never do what you don’t feel like doing. Work hard at your craft, that’s all,” he shares.

    Talking about trolls and if he gets affected by them, he adds, “I don’t. I believe that my opinion of myself is more important. I like myself as a person. I don’t deal with trolls, I don’t react at all. Can you imagine how sad and angry they are that they take time to write negatively to you, a stranger? I try not to post anything on social media to get a reaction. Most people love to get a reaction about what they say, or what they’re wearing. I don’t. If something on my social media inspires you or moves you, great. I have a quote by David Kessler that I use a lot about trolls and it calms me down if I get angry: ‘How empty of me, to be so full of you.’”

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