Annushka with her energy and zest for life and her art was the perfect candidate to interview because behind her talent, non-stop chitter-chatter and overzealous enthusiasm for Bollywood were interesting stories and opinions packed in her young mind. Find out more about Annushka’s view on social media as seen by a millennial artist that uses the medium to it’s very best to reach out to the world.
Annushka Hardikar, 22, Illustrator and Graphic Designer, Pune
Interviewed by Akshay Sachdev
Why have you decided to speak about social media today?
I’ve decided to talk about social media today because of our overdependence on it on a day to day basis. Coming from the millennial generation I feel that social media has really taken over our lives. Not only is it difficult to live with it but also without it.
Have you been able to benefit from social media?
As an illustrator it really helps me to showcase my art. With the help of social media I’m able to reach out to so many people across the world. I also get instant feedback on my work, which is nice. Today technology is so advanced that I can get a lot of information, tutorials, view other artist’s pages all through social media platforms. In a way it has helped me broaden my horizons.
As an artist do you think that social media today is the go-to medium to publicise one’s work?
It sure is. Today, I see the amount of effort that artists put in to their social media profiles because it is essentially the fastest way to gauge an artist’s work and personality. Today even before people have a look at your website they go to your social media profile to understand you and your work better. At the end of the day it’s free and widely accessed, and most of the artists I know are using it to reach out to their audience.
You might put your work out there but there is so much of your life that ends up being shared as well. Where do you think you need to draw the line where social media is concerned?
Honestly, It’s a personal decision. I prefer not to put too much of my personal life online but it is a bit difficult to gauge where to draw the line because we’re all used to oversharing these days. Having a public profile can be scary at times as you’re vulnerable to trolls and creepy messages. Sometimes I guess you just need to step back rather than share everything.
Do you think it’s exhausting because you’re always thinking about what to post next and how to get your next like or comment?
I know most people won’t admit it but I very shamelessly admit that I do think about what to post next all the time. I think about how my feed is looking and I take a thousand pictures of my artwork to make them look aesthetic. It becomes like a game honestly, which post will get the most likes, what post will make me get more views, I know that this thought is always running at the back of my head. Sometimes I feel I need to stop and keep my phone away because otherwise I just end up checking Instagram and refreshing my feed even though there’s nothing new there. It’s a constant battle, and I guess that’s why people end up going through these social media detox phases.
Have you ever undertaken a social media detox?
If I I’m creating work and really invested in a project, I don’t really check my phone. I’ve realised that when I have too much time on my hands I end up looking at it a lot. I haven’t undertaken a detox but I try to stay away from it when I’m out with my family or friends.
Does being active on social media stress you out and are you constantly worked up about getting more likes or followers?
Yes, to an extent. I don’t really bother myself about how many followers I have, though. I just want to put my work out there and get feedback to do better. But before I post something I feel a range of emotions for something that is so silly and petty because someone is just going to scroll through it in a second.
How does a millennial or someone who is so active on social media not let these things affect you?
I don’t know honestly. I’m trying to find a balance myself. One thing I’ve tried to do is to not look at my phone the first thing in the morning. I try to stay away from it for at least half an hour to one hour when I wake up because otherwise you’re just burdening yourself with so much of unnecessary information. So, I’d suggest just stay away from your phone early in the morning, when you’re around people and before going to bed for starters.
To sum it up would you say that social media is a boon or a bane?
It’s both actually. It would be unfair to say that it’s only a bane as it has really helped us connect with a world we didn’t know existed before. Today we have all the information we need at the click of a button. Personally, it’s helped me get a lot of work, appreciation and feedback. But yes, the rate at which our dependence on social media is growing is quite scary. I see how socially detached we are all getting. Even when we are around people, we are all just glued to our phones. And even though we are aware of it, we cannot get away from this habit. It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the coming 5 to 10 years. I guess we just need to try to distance ourselves from social media and hope that it doesn’t take over our lives completely.
The last question is not related to interview topic, but we ask everyone we interview – what does love mean to you?
Earlier, my definition of love was really romanticised because of my love for Bollywood. But now it’s all about the small gestures that you can do for someone no matter how mundane they are. For example, I see how my grandfather arranges my grandmother’s medicines daily for her. That is love for me. It’s the simplest things but they show how much someone means to you.