Saanand Verma is one of the very few actors who has managed to do well not just on TV but also on OTT and in films simultaneously. He has never shied away from talking his heart out when it comes to topics which affect today’s society. While many actors have had strong opinions about social media, he sees social media as a tool but also is well aware of its ills.
“I think social media has revolutionized our life and lifestyle. The main reason is that social media is completely commercial. Everybody thinks that if they have a good presence on the internet and social media, they’re going to get endorsements and they’re going to make a lot of money. That is the main reason why people are so excited about it and they’re taking social media so seriously and real socializing is missing,” he says.
People follow celebrities and emulate them, especially via social media so it is a huge responsibility, but everyone is not taking it seriously. “Oh yes, definitely. It is very important for every celebrity to take this thing seriously. There are millions of people out there who are going to emulate all the celebrities and repercussions are going to be there if celebrities are not getting their act together and behaving themselves. So, every celebrity, every public figure needs to be very conscious about the fact that it is very easy for a lot of people to see their activities and their personal lives. Their behaviour, their relationships, overall gestures…so right now it is very difficult to keep your personal life a secret because everybody is very vigilant about public figures and celebrities,” says Verma.
“It’s a huge responsibility if you’re not behaving yourself if you’re not doing well and doing wrong things or setting bad examples in public. People are definitely going to be affected badly. We all should be very careful and should do everything with a lot of caution,” he adds.
He feels that the number of followers has become an obsession with almost everybody and it’s sad. “It’s not a good thing because numbers can be unreal and can be bought. There are people who are ready to give you a higher number of followers if you pay a price, so it is something which is not real. It can be fake, so why should we take it seriously? I don’t think that this obsession is good,” he adds.
According to him, an actor’s real popularity can be determined by the reactions of viewers. “The real reaction comes into place when the actor is shooting outdoors and there are people roaming around and passersby stop and keep looking at you. They want to take a picture with you, so that is real popularity. Those are the real followers who really know and love what you’re doing, who come to you for an autograph and for a picture,” he shares.
He thinks that the world of social media is not fake. “I don’t think that everyone thinks that the world of social media is fake. The world of social media is a great world and there are billions of people who use social media for good causes. They create happiness for their family members and for society. At the same time, there are many people who use social media for commercial reasons and in order to make money, they do unethical things and they do a lot of fake things like creating fake viral videos to make money,” he reveals.
“There are genuine people at the same time. So yes, it is something which is extremely important at this point of time and it has become a lifestyle across the world. So if it’s so important then definitely everybody would want to be in the public’s eye and would like to get some kind of attention on social media. It is a double standard for the people who just abuse on social media. They say bad things about social media and still, they’re very active on social media. So, for those people, it’s a double standard, not for a person like me who feels like social media is a genuine medium and it’s a lifestyle. We all have to accept it and try to do good things,” he adds.
He thinks that social media has become an ego-massaging tool and it is disturbing normal life. “It is very sad. It should not be the case. It should be an enjoyable experience for everyone. You should entertain, you should not create any kind of negativity. We should take it easy and we should be light at heart and appreciate each other. Give priority to near and dear ones and stay healthy and be happy. And this tool, it’s not going to help to keep your health in good shape. You need to be cautious. Create an atmosphere of love,” adds Verma.
“If you don’t post good content on social media every day, no one is going to hate you because there are many creators who make content. Just loving yourself should be your motto. Love yourself, life, and near and dear ones and be in great shape and be healthy. Love your audience and keep serving them with good content but not at the price of your health,” he opines.
India is a huge country and there are many social and political groups who run their campaigns on social media for achieving different targets, he shared.
“They’re basically there for various interests and they just hire these trollers so they’re paid people who don’t have any character, who don’t have any kind of principles. And they’re just there to earn money. So please never take these trollers seriously. As long as you’re doing good things with good intentions, you’re set. You don’t have to be afraid of any kind of trolling. Just be bold enough and have the courage to express yourself and tell the truth and try to be a great whistleblower who does good things for humanity and society,” he says.
So far, he has not been trolled. “I have a genuine fan following. I have genuine people who are connected to me on social media. But if I get trolled, I’m not going to get affected by it. These are fake people and they don’t deserve to be taken seriously. I would like to request everyone to not give so much importance to social media. Social media is good and helpful but the real socialization is always emotional and not digital. It should happen between humans and not among machines and not with fake people who are just hired for writing comments. So, understand that it is not a great sign for humanity. If we start falling in love with our electronic gadgets then the real love will be lost,” he concludes.