My daughter loves the green apples offered – for free – in the fancier hotel gyms. She makes it a point to eat one or two every day from that bowl and often, after a 3 day stay, their bowl is empty. Maybe this is the situation faced by actor Rahul Bose after a work-out at JW Marriott Chandigarh. Anyways, he decided to order a couple of bananas and was faced with – horror! a bill of Rs 442 for a fruit platter. After that sticker shock he made a little video about this “outrageous” pricing and tweeted it. Seriously? While certainly this is not the street price of bananas, he is also not working out at the open air gym at the local park. The question is why would a celebrity tweet this? It sounds a lot like he was expecting free fruit and when he didn’t, he developed a case of sour grapes. Since every news article on this ends with the note that his last film was in 2017 the hidden message is that he is out-of-work and looking for freebies. I doubt that’s the intended outcome.
Everything we do in the public domain impacts our public reputation, more so if you are an influencer or celebrity with more reach. Recently there was a LinkedIn post by a company founder putting up the screenshot of the LinkedIn profile of a potential senior employee who did not join after accepting their offer, and did not inform them that he was not joining. While the founder’s angst may be justified, what does this achieve? It is more likely to scare away any potential employees than teach job-seekers a lesson in manners. In a more litigious culture than India it could invite a lawsuit too.
Social media has certainly given everyone a voice. And over the past decade we have revelled in our new found megaphones. But now that the novelty has worn off, people are again exercising judgement on what’s proud, what’s just loud, or worse, shrill. As individuals and as brands we have to find our voices, and certainly some of us may decide to be loud in pursuing our cause. A Ralph Nader would definitely shake up India, but that’s a sustained campaign not just going nuts about a couple of over-priced bananas.