Prajakta Koli has been one of the most popular stars on social media. From vines to YouTube videos to TikToks and now Instagram Reels, she is everywhere. Recently she even ventured into the audio space with the series ‘Desi Down Under’ on Audible.
Talking to Prateek Sur about her social media journey, Prajakta Koli opens up about whether or not she finds it troublesome to be constantly posting on social media. She also talks about the benefits and downsides of social media. Excerpts from the candid chat:
As you’re a social media star, I have to ask you this. Many people have told me that they find it troublesome to constantly keep posting every day. Does the constant posting on social media bother you as well? Or does it come just naturally to you?
It does not bother me. But it also does not come naturally to me, obviously. But I think because I've been doing this for long enough. Although the lines are super blurry, it's very much where I'm standing that it's still my job. You know what I mean? I just happen to be in this very fortunate position where I get to pursue my passion as my full-time job. I've always wanted to be an actor, writer, performer, be on camera, you know, do things, travel. The world speaks about issues that are close to my heart, have conversations and the way that my job has kind of moulded all of this into one is just phenomenal. But having said that, the older I grow the more time I spend being a content creator and an actor and writer. I realized that I still have my sanity in place because I understand that it's still my job. So I look at it with that much discipline and I'm very proud of myself for that. Honestly, it was tough. So every time I get to speak about it, I do speak about it, it was tough to kind of put myself in that place mentally in that place where I know exactly how much I'm supposed to do when I'm supposed to do when do I, you know, tread forward, when do I take a step back, it's been very, very rehearsed by now for me for the ups and downs. So it doesn't come naturally to me. But I also have put myself through that discipline where I make sure that it doesn't get to me because as a content creator, my mental health, I mean, as a person, my mental health is of utmost importance. But also, I know that if I am not in the right frame of mind, I will never be able to be a good writer or a content creator.
While we all are aware of the benefits of social media, do you think there are any downsides of social media as well?
It really depends on how you look at it. Like there are benefits and downsides of literally everything, you know what I mean? I really, really believe in the whole concept of surfing the internet and not letting the internet so few. Having control, making sure that you are making conscious choices, making sure that you are putting in the effort to make sure that your experience of being on the internet as a consumer or as a content creator is safe and healthy and enriching. I have put a lot of things in motion where all the time that I spent on social media only adds value to my life. But I know a few things I could do that could make it worse for me. But why will I make that choice? I really think it's how you look at it. I mean, social media has given me a whole as career, it has given me a lot of purpose, it has given me a lot of impact, a lot of reach, it has given me my audience has given me everything that I have today, every single opportunity that I get to live today comes from the fact that I decided to put myself out on social media. So for me, it's 100% a blessing. All in all, but it really depends on how you look at it. And I feel like as consumers, I think it's time we start taking responsibility for ourselves.
What would you say are the cons of being a social media celebrity?
Can I be very honest, I really am yet to experience something that can be called a con, honestly. And I don't say this to sound like I have my shit together. I mean, obviously I go through things every now and then. But I'm still to reach a point where I feel like, you know, this is a bad thing about my job. I'm still to reach that point. So maybe I'm just not the right person to answer yet.
So, in my last interview with you, you had said that you love being among people and creating content. However, in today's day and age, it is not easy to consume criticism. So how do you tackle that negativity?
They are two very different things, criticism and negativity, or criticism and hate are two very different things. criticism I have always appreciated I think very early on, I realized that I will, I will only be as good as my most constructive comment. You know what I mean? I have always learned from criticism, I have always gotten breakthroughs when it comes to content, breakthroughs when it comes to content creation through feedback that my audience has honestly given me and that had value that helped me grow. Hate on the other hand is baseless. Also, I have way too many things that I want to do in life than to sit down and worry about it. It's not my labor, it's not my job to give into someone else's insecurities or give it to someone else's negativity. I also happen to have the best audience in the world that showers me with immense love. Every single day, I don't know what I have done to deserve that. So I just feel like it'll be very unfair to them. For me to be anything but grateful for the nicer comments, and the criticism that helps me grow. So there are two very different things. I have always appreciated criticism and hate, I have never bothered to forget, it's not my problem.
We are seeing a new wave around the depiction of women on screen or in any format. Do you think we are in the golden period of storytelling or there's still a long way to go?
I think there is always a long way to go. But I'm very happy to be a part of the whole storytelling unit. Versus especially in India, where changes are being made where we have more gender fluidity happening in writer rooms. The last few characters I have played, especially you if you talk about Meenu, she's written by Mithila. If you talk about Dimple, mits written by Gazal, both women are very different from each other, but still beautiful storytellers. And I feel like I, if you look at both these characters, they come off as much more relatable, real believable. And I feel very fortunate that I get to be at a point in time where the needle is ticking. I love it.