There is no denying that despite the cons of social media such as human disconnect, addiction, cyber bullying, depression, among other things, it is a tool that helps connect the world in more ways than one. In fact, a number of bloggers and social media influencers have turned this into a platform to spread positivity and also empower people. We interacted with four such digital game-changers, whose content have virtually influenced many young minds.
POSTS OF A PASTRY QUEEN
Pastry chef par excellence, Pooja Dhingra (33) is helping young women starting out in the field to not make the same mistakes she did. She's been awarded the Instagrammer of the Year for Food.
Talking to us about why and how she decided to take on social media to showcase her culinary skills, Dhingra mentions, "Well I'm not just a blogger or YouTuber, I'm a pastry chef. I founded my business in India nine years ago and started my Instagram page a year or so later. It was a transition from Facebook, where I was essentially documenting everything. I felt this was a better platform, especially for photographs."
One of the prime reasons for Dhingra to use social media is "to reach out to people in different ways". She mentions, "I use the platform to share recipes and help people with problems of starting out in the culinary world. Most of those following me are young women who are in the process of setting up their bakeries or businesses. They come to me because I've already lived through all these problems that they are currently facing."
Dhingra is of the opinion that social media is a great tool to empower young minds. She concludes, "I feel there are multiple ways to empower people. One is to be authentic in everything you do. I try to showcase life as it is and not as curated content. That relatability leads one to believe that they can also achieve what they think. Secondly, get people involved. It will help you build a community, where people can share their experiences."
FIT TO BUST OLD NOTIONS
A foodie, fitness enthusiast and gin lover, Anjali Batra uses the digital platform to break gender stereotypes. Batra is of the opinion that "social media has helped us find a voice to what we do."
Delving into the details, she mentions, "My social media is about the things I am passionate about, things I like to do on a daily basis that can inspire others."
Discussing how she uses social media to highlight the balance in life, she adds, "We tend to place people into stereotypical boxes in what they think, what they do and don't do. I use social media to inspire others about fitness. I've been through a drastic body change in the last 10 years, and I love talking about that. Social media allows me to motivate others through my fitness journey."
Batra, whose audience "is mostly people of my age and also a lot of young girls", is also the CMO of a food community page titled Food Talk India. She adds, "I've always had an issue with being called a 'female entrepreneur' as opposed to just 'entrepreneur'. She says, "This made me realise the reason why we are classified a little differently.
In a country like ours, the mindset is that a man can do a lot more."
BREAKING TABOOS THROUGH CONTENT
24-year-old Sejal Kumar who won Instagrammer of the Year for Fashion earlier this month has not only been showing young women how to dress but also creating content regarding health issues and outdated societal norms.
Talking about how she started curating experiences, the popular blogger and social media influencer says, "I started creating content online when I was in college. I've always had an interest in things beyond the academics. I'm inspired by Bethany Mota, whose videos are on fashion and lifestyle, and more."
Kumar wants to break taboos through her content, "I try to share my opinion on issues I feel strongly about, such as gender equality and gender stereotype."
Her advice for people is to "steer clear from following people who genuinely make you feel positive. Don't follow them for the wrong reasons or compare yourself to them for anything."
FOOD FOR THOUGHT, ANYBODY?
Natasha Diddee's moniker is 'the gutless foodie', which shows that even without a stomach she doesn't stop herself from enjoying the bountiful culinary world.
Diddee, who is in her early 40s, is a trained chef. She took to food blogging for personal reasons, "I decided to share what I was cooking because I had to relearn how to eat. I'm a trained chef and we are always taught how to eat food - dal with rice, spaghetti with meatballs, so on. But after surgery (she lost her entire stomach to two perforated ulcers and a tumour), I realised I can't eat like that anymore as it doesn't digest well. My idea to start this blog was not to tell people to eat like I'm eating but to tell them to eat what makes them feel better. Food can sustain you, nourish you - it's fuel for your body so cook right and eat right."
Talking about empowering young people, Diddee mentions, "Anything can inspire you but when you use that inspiration to empower yourself to be the best version of you, that's what is most important. That's what I've done - I've taken inspiration from others and used their positivity to create the best me." She adds, "Don't let society pressures pull you down.