Towards a safer social media experience

Guest Column: Malini Agarwal, Founder & Creative Director of MissMalini, writes why even in today’s challenging scenario, we should inject kindness and empathy into what we post on social media

e4m by Malini Agarwal
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 9:24 AM
malini agarwal

Perched on my couch, typing for hours on the laptop was how I started my company (then blog) MissMalini, 10 years ago. From being a professional dancer to becoming an entertainment brand, I have always aimed for work-life amalgamation. Besides being an entrepreneur, I also juggle between being a TV host, a digital influencer and a best-selling author! No two days have been alike for me. From the good old days of blogging in my PJs to interviewing Bollywood biggies and now to being a digital media stalwart, it’s been an exciting journey, to say the least.

Here’s a look at what my very busy day looks like:

Hair and make-up:

Despite my continuous efforts to sleep early, my day starts with not enough sleep, followed by my hair and make-up. Mundane tasks like checking emails on the phone and clearing messages are also a part of my morning routine.

Managing content as Creative Director:

As a stickler for perfection, it’s imperative for me to run through most of the content that goes out. Having grown to a team of 65, there’s always something to review or offer my opinion on. I realised very early on in my career that the kind of unfiltered chatter that exists on social media can easily hurt people’s feelings. Our followers are people too. And that’s why we have the following rules – ‘never post anything about someone that you couldn’t say to their face,’ ‘spark joy by what you post’ and ‘remember followers are people too’. 

Doing interviews and speaking on panels:

Sometimes, I’m out doing interviews for various magazines and websites. Interviewing the who’s who of Bollywood and speaking on interview panels and others has made up for a large chunk of my schedule in recent years.

Building the Women’s Community:

With fame comes immense responsibility and I take this very seriously! My aim is for all of us to strive to uplift our sisterhood rather than bring each other down. As a crucial step in this direction, MissMalini has launched a campaign, Malini's Girl Tribe - a place for women to network, share, and support and connect.

Managing Career Trajectories:

As MissMalini continues to grow beyond my dreams, my journey has led me to tread different paths. In 2017, I published my first book, ‘To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way to Bollywood’ with Harper Collins which was met with love and appreciation from all ends. I’m also in the process of writing my second book with them. Recently, I also launched TikTok on my most beloved blog to connect with a wider millennial audience and I can already feel it is an excellent experience! 

Social media is a distorted mirror of the happy moments of our life. It only reflects the highlights without revealing how we are actually feeling that day. At a recent TEDx speech that I delivered, I stressed upon the concept of social fatigue that is eventually taking over the internet. As a role model, I would like to encourage you to inject a bit of kindness and empathy into what you post on social media. Delete the negative trolls and feeds. Remember, what you post today is going to be on the internet forever and it has an impact far greater than you think it does. 

So let your next Insta story, your next tweet spread some joy. Care a little more! Spread smiles and positivity with what you post.

Reflections from the lockdown

During the past few months, I’m also focused on building a kinder, safer social media experience with a newly launched Ignore No More online campaign that tackles sexual harassment and abuse through vulgar comments and creepy DMs. Aside from that, I’ve tweaked some of my business offerings to make them virtual, given the current circumstances. We have a community of about 45,000 women in Malini’s Girl Tribe and we used to meet often for events. Now we do them virtually and have in fact been able to involve women from all over the world, as a result. I look forward to coming out of this lockdown with a finished manuscript and a better respect and understanding of the privileges we have and the things we take for granted.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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