Tech Quotient: Melanie Kannokada
- Take on entertainment gadgets:
I remember when my family first got an Internet modem, when I was just a kid. Web pages took forever to load, but we were patient with our web surfing. Nowadays, given how fast technology has become, we get annoyed if a page doesn’t load instantaneously, and if a YouTube video doesn’t seize our attention within seconds, we move on. And given the multitude of ways to stay connected with others and consume and create content, we are always multitasking – texting on our phones, posting pictures on Facebook, Skyping, e-mailing, Tweeting, and listening to our iTunes playlist… while our TV is playing in the background. I’m guilty of this, I won’t deny.
But the reason I indulge in all these entertainment gadgets is that it enhances my lifestyle – I’m more productive with my work, I’m more connected to my family and friends, I’m more informed by online news and content, and I’m entertained by the access to music, video, and even shopping. Everything is evolving to be more intuitive, streamlined, and user friendly, so even non-techy people are making technology a part of their everyday lifestyles.
You have to be careful, because indulging in too many of these gadgets and services can distract you from your priorities. And instead of streamlining your life, it can add clutter. So you have to know how and when to use it, and if it really is worth the time.
- Use of technology in your line of work:
In between my acting projects, I’m constantly reading scripts, anywhere between 2 and 10 a week. I recently invested in an iPad 3, and that has been immensely helpful for downloading and perusing all the scripts that come my way. I also have a Flip video camera (which I think is discontinued now…) that I’ve used to record my audition tapes if I’m traveling and can’t make the audition in person. In the states, it’s also essential to have a Smartphone with Email and web browsing, as most meetings and castings are scheduled electronically and require online access to confirm without delay.
- The gadgets that keep you entertained the most:
I’m a Apple geek – I have everything: iPhone 4s, iPad, Macbook Air, and Apple TV.
My favorite thing to do right now is take pictures with my iPhone and Instagram them (fun fact, Instagram was actually created by one of my friends at Stanford!). The app has inspired me to think more creatively when capturing moments of my life in still photos. It’s such a fun way to pretend you’re a professional photographer.
- Do you feel more connected to your fans due to social networking/media? Hate it or love it?
I love social media, for the most part. I’ve been on Facebook since its beginning, as Stanford was one of the first universities at which it launched, so all of my friends and networks are on it.
I started it using primarily to keep in touch with friends/family, but once I became more visible in my modeling and acting career, I created separate accounts to stay in touch with my fans on more of a public-facing level.
I think social networking is a wonderful thing – I get to share more of my true self that’s not captured by the press, and that creates more personal relationships, which I value. However, I can be a very private person, so sometimes I struggle in finding the right balance of how personal versus how public I should be on these platforms. But overall I love it. And being able to hear words of support directly from the fans really motivates me and keeps me going.