Life on and off social media
Actress and mother Scha Alyahya sorts out life and parenting in the digital age, writes Amalina Kamal
1. HOW HAS GOING DIGITAL BROUGHT CHANGE?
Well, for one, it has made it easier for newcomers to break into the industry. Take Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner, for instance. The girls owe a lot of their careers to social media.
Instagram, Snapchat and the likes really help boost their profiles. Don’t think for a second that the hype they got from being an influencer or — in a more formal terms — key opinion leaders on those platforms didn’t help them get to where they are today.
Surely the same situation can be said here.
Nowadays there are successful personalities, thanks to the online networking tools they utilise.
This has forced many big brands and businesses to alter the way they work, especially in marketing.
Being digital-savvy (more importantly, social media) is the new wave. For some reason, success (or stardom) is unapologetically measured through the amount of “followers” or “online hits”.
2. DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS TREND?
It was a lot tougher to make your work or your art known to the public back then. Getting that start required me to source for countless castings and auditions where the contact is quite rigid and less open.
Now you can get contract deals for just being popular online. I don’t have anything against those who have made it big through social media alone.
Leveraging on your virtual profile is just another creative way to build your brand. It helps develop managerial and entrepreneurial skills too. The best part about it is that you can start at any age.
3. IT IS ARGUED THAT SOCIAL MEDIA STARDOM BREEDS SUPERFICIALITY, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I stand by Sheila Majid’s statement at last year’s Anugerah Industri Muzik 22. It’s something about not being wrong to wish for fame, but you also need to have a purpose and a sense of responsibility (consciousness) to pair up with the talent that you uphold. This advice applies.
4. YOUR DAUGHTER, LARA ALANA, IS A SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY. SHE GETS ENDORSEMENT DEALS AND A LOT MORE ATTENTION THAN KIDS HER AGE. HOW DO YOU MANAGE HER LIFESTYLE?
Do I help manage Lara’s schedule and undertakings? Yes. Do I push her to take up all the opportunities that come knocking? Definitely not.
It would be unfair to deprive her of a childhood. Both Awal and I still want her to go to school, enjoy her playtime with friends and do what kids do growing up.
All the reward she has gained through her online presence is a bonus. We instil quite a firm balance in her upbringing because at the end of the day, Lara is a kid.
As for parenting styles between Awal and I, I’m the party pooper because he is more outgoing. When I spend time with my daughter, I rarely record our activities. With Awal, it’s the exact opposite. Thankfully I still get the final say on things. I would give the green light for whatever posts or uploads that go online.
Also, Lara only gets about an hour of screen (tablet) time a day, in case you are wondering.
5. DON’T YOU FIND IT CHALLENGING FOR HER IMAGE BEING ONLINE AND IN THE PUBLIC EYE?
I see it this way — even if she wasn’t big online, she would still be the talk of the public being the daughter of celebrity parents.
So the challenge is really by default. We are just embracing the digital moment the best way we can. Suffice to say that every update is thoroughly monitored and supervised.
6. WHAT ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY?
I try not to get too engrossed though it is hard (in this age) to separate from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
I believe that there still needs to be a clear balance between what is in front of you and what is on your screen.
I am strict with gadget time. My husband will vouch for it.
When you decide to update every single minute of your life, it becomes too much.
It’s one digital habit that I am easily annoyed with because it can actually affect your time engaging with what’s in front of you.
7. DO YOU HAVE ANY DEVICE THAT YOU CONSTANTLY CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF?
Being the bookworm that I am, it’s got to be my Kindle Oasis ebook that I got for my birthday.