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Be it Fan, Mirzapur, or Beecham House—actor-director Shriya Pilgaonkar has always won hearts with her impressive acting chops. Some might say it is in her genes, after all she’s the daughter of stalwarts Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar. But over the years, this millennial sensation has worked extremely hard to be where she is!
Today, she has garnered a loyal fan base on social media, and her audience absolutely adores her for how real and relatable she is. From sharing snippets of her work to giving us a lowdown on her travel escapades, or just spending some fun moments with her actor parents, Shriya makes us feel like she’s one of us!
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t face the pressures of being a celebrity, but she tackles it in the best possible way, so that it doesn’t harm her mental health.
In an exclusive chat with Health Shots, Mirzapur actor Shriya Pilgaonkar spills the beans about her relationship with social media and how she tackles her mental health—despite all the negativity and hate brewing on these platforms.
A healthy relationship with social media
As a celebrity, Shriya knows everything she does is under scrutiny, but she’s comfortable showing her audience who she is. She follows a ‘balanced approach’ on social media, and steers clear from ‘oversharing’ about her life. And that’s what keeps her sane!
“I think my parents have emotionally equipped me to navigate this profession. When you put yourself out there and share your life, your successes, or your failures, you are vulnerable and open to scrutiny,” shares Shriya.
Her idea of success is not limited to having a large number of followers on social media. Instead, Shriya measures her growth based on how she has evolved as an actor and a human. If and when she spends time on these social platforms, it is only to share her work, or watch cute dog videos and admire travel pictures.
“For me, a lot of social media actually ends up being about work, and less for myself. While there are a lot of positives to social media, dealing with it can be stressful, and I won’t allow it to rob my peace of mind,” adds Shriya.
And here’s how she tackles trolls
Shriya doesn’t get trolled too often, and even if she does, she feels it’s more of ‘comic relief’—because the comments are largely ridiculous. But if someone targets her parents or maligns their reputation, it really gets to her.
“I generally ignore trolls, because they are all just seeking attention at the end of the day. It’s clear people are projecting their insecurities onto you. But when I see someone make a comment that questions me as a person or puts out an absolute false judgement, I make sure I tag them and respond—so that others also know that this form of bullying and maligning must not be tolerated,” shares Shriya.
She also believes that when celebrities openly call out online bullying and troll attacks, it gives others courage to deal with the situation in the same manner!
On her coping mechanism during the pandemic
The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and we’ve all had our share of good and bad days. Instead of constantly hustling and bowing down to the pressure of being productive, Shriya has been mindful of doing things that give her joy!
“I wasn’t too hard on myself to be constantly productive, and engaged in activities that I enjoy like reading, painting, writing, working out, or even just taking a nap. The idea of success that has been ingrained in us is that one has to constantly hustle, but it’s so important to take time out to just be,” she shares.
The pandemic has proved to be a period of transformation for her, and has taught her to live better!
“I think this time has put a lot of things into perspective. When you see so much suffering in the world, you value things. For me, gratitude plays an integral role in staying positive. I pray every day, and that keeps me grounded. Sometimes, using excessive social media also becomes toxic, so I have tried to ensure not to be constantly glued to my phone,” she adds.
Keeping her mental health in check
“Sometimes even watching or reading the news ends up being stressful, and I prefer staying away from it. I am very protective of my state of mind, and the minute I find myself being controlled by my phone, I take a step back. There has to be a sense of detachment,” shares Shriya.
It’s almost natural for most of us to check emails or social media notifications the moment we wake up every morning. But Shriya has made a conscious effort to stay away from any gadget for at least 30 minutes after she wakes up and even before bedtime.
“My notifications are always off, and when it comes to social media, I only follow people who do not affect me negatively. That’s really how I keep my mental health in good shape,” she adds.
Word of advice
“Your number of followers on social media is not a mark of success. Your legacy will be your craft and your personal integrity. So, don’t allow social media to define the momentum of your life. Your self-image and self-confidence shouldn’t be based on social media. Find good role models, and educate yourself about resources, in case you face online bullying or harassment,” she says, signing off.