HT Brunch Mental Health Cover Story: The pressure to perform, writes Priya Varrier

The viral sensation on what happens after you’re suddenly a social media star, and the slum and expectations that follow
Priya says that fame and recognition are short-lived and you have to show growth and consistency (Parth Garg)
Priya says that fame and recognition are short-lived and you have to show growth and consistency (Parth Garg)
Published on Oct 09, 2021 09:33 PM IST
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By Priya Varrier

I had nothing to do with my content going viral. The audience put me on a pedestal overnight and at the same time, after a couple of days, there were trolls and memes about me as well. It started with one or two trolls and then people went crazy. When they are being funny, trolls and memes are, to an extent, alright. But when they personally attack or aim to dishearten you, it does have a toll. I was just starting my career and had no idea how to handle this. The only thing I consciously did was to keep working towards my goal and staying grounded. I made sure the hype didn’t affect me. And so the slump that came later didn’t either. 

After you go viral, there is pressure to perform. Every time I went to events or even did ads for brands, they wanted me to do the wink or do the gunshot in the end. I really got tired of it. And even when I did something different, the wink clip had set a standard that I had to maintain. People wouldn’t accept anything less than that.

I ignore hate comments because I don’t have the time or patience to go through negativity. After I upload my content, I don’t check the likes or comments or interactions unless the brand needs me to say something. That helps me a lot, mentally.

Anyone can go viral today, thanks to social media. TikTokers and Reels makers are getting quite famous. But you have to complement luck with hard work. Fame and recognition is short-lived. You have to show growth and consistency.

Priya Varrier’s “wink video” went viral in 2018 and she was apparently the “most searched social media star” on Google in India that year.

(As told to Karishma Kuenzang)

From HT Brunch, October 10, 2021

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Sunday, October 24, 2021