Instagram couples discuss online PDA

Updated: Nov 20, 2018, 08:46 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Insta couples discuss online PDA, why they are okay with it and which corners will always be hidden from the camera

Saloni Chopra and Rahul Bhattacharya write love letters to each other on their Instagram handle, SaeRah Stamps
Saloni Chopra and Rahul Bhattacharya write love letters to each other on their Instagram handle, SaeRah Stamps

If you are one of those who has been oohing and awwing over Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's wedding pictures for the past two days, you are accustomed with the hashtag #couplegoals. These are couples who put everyone else to shame. They post intimate pictures, write love letters to each other, travel, eat, shop together, and try out new things. In love, they are partners, in work and life alike, and are not afraid to put it out there.

"You have to be secure in your relationship to a certain level to do this. You have to value it for what it is at that particular time," says actor/activist Saloni Chopra, whose Instagram handle, which she co-owns with boyfriend, banker Rahul Bhattacharya, is called SaéRah Stamps - the first halves of their names conjoined by an é which means and in French. The couple, who has been dating long-distance for a little over a year (she stays in Mumbai, him in Melbourne), started the handle to write love letters to each other, that go along with pretty pictures and intimate videos. Through the letters they talk about "real" relationships, which finds a connect with their followers (the account has around 7.5K followers while Saloni's individual account has 303K and Rahul has an individual count of around 8K). "We used to send each other long texts every morning, and those texts are now these letters," says Rahul.

Scherezade Shroff Talwar and Vaibhav Talwar try experiencing new and different things together"
Scherezade Shroff Talwar and Vaibhav Talwar try experiencing new and different things together"

One of their letters, by Saloni to Rahul reads,"The hardest thing about being apart is coming to terms with only having you on a screen. A window to your world where I am on the outside looking in. A constant reminder of how you're always at my fingertips and beyond my reach". Rahul, in a letter says, "Being around you can be hard sometimes... but being away from you is much, much harder". "We get messages like 'you guys are not allowed to break up' all the time," laughs Saloni, "We want to talk about the bad along with the good as well, but the only thing we wouldn't do is write a letter when we are angry. I don't want to be fighting and then put up a post of us kissing at the Eiffel Tower."

Aayushi Bangur and Smaran Sahu
Aayushi Bangur and Smaran Sahu

Ask them about the videos and pictures that show them kissing, and they say that since they are like that in real life, they don't feel the need to edit their PDA online. "It has to be honest. I am a lawyer, and move around in a conservative set, where I am sure some people think Saloni and I are too much. They ask, 'is this real?' and that's why it has to be as real as possible. It can't be fake at all," says Rahul. Talk about brand collaborations and travel possibilities that may come to them as influencers and the lovebirds are clear they won't endorse anything or anyone that doesn't fit in with their beliefs. "We can't, won't change who we are," says Rahul.

While Saloni and Rahul keep love as the point of discussion, Scherezade Shroff Talwar (aka Sherry) and Vaibhav Talwar, whose couple account is called Coupling! (22.2k followers), are all about trying new things together. Vaibhav, an actor, and Sherry, a hugely popular YouTuber, started their joint account on YouTube four years ago as they were inspired by American couple YouTubers.

Daizy Batra and Ankit Arora talk about fashion and lifestyle
Daizy Batra and Ankit Arora talk about fashion and lifestyle

"We realised there were no 'real' couple YouTubers in India," says Sherry. They started off by attempting challenges - for example the 100 MOMOS challenge or the Indians Try Korean food challenge. "Our aim is to make vlogs about a couple experiencing different things together. Even if we are on a vacation, we plan activities that we can shoot, so even work is fun and our personal time as well," says Vaibhav. The couple, which also makes travel vlogs and answer couple questions in their segment called #AskVTSS, say that they manage to strike a balance between keeping it personal without it infringing on their privacy. "What you see in the vlogs is a small percentage of our life.

YouTubers Sherry Shroff and husband, Vaibhav Talwar
YouTubers Sherry Shroff and husband, Vaibhav Talwar

Even while on vacation, we probably shoot for two days, and do our own thing for four," says Sherry. Though they get the #couplegoals comment often enough, they say that they only post content that both are comfortable with. "At the end of the day, it's all evident on camera. And the audience is brutal on the Internet, and they will react to it," says Vaibhav. Ask them if they ever feel like their own personal accounts or identities will suffer, and Sherry says empathically, "that's not possible, as we are very different people, so what we say and do on our personal accounts is completely different from each other." Some couples figure out young that their relationship is their USP, and that being together is beneficial for their love and work life alike. Daizy Batra, 21, and Ankit Arora, 22, have been together for four years now, and even took part in an MTV reality show together. Their Instagram handle, the.vogue.vanity (111k followers), is all about fashion and lifestyle.

Actor Saloni Chopra and banker Rahul Bhattacharya
Actor Saloni Chopra and banker Rahul Bhattacharya

"I am from Surat and Ankit is from Punjab, but we met in college. Even then, people would look at us and say #couplegoals. We then realised that it was our USP. It also made sense in the way that we are more creative together, and there is proper division of work," says Daizy. The two, who say they got pretty intimate on the MTV show and hence, aren't conscious about what kind of PDA they put up on their handle, still want to keep content classy. "Our chemistry shows of course, and that's why we like to have a personal element. We just don't want to put up our fights. The reason we are doing this is because we are sure of our commitment and don't want the page to suffer because of negative content."

Actors Daizy Batra and Ankit Arora
Actors Daizy Batra and Ankit Arora

The key then could be in maintaining a balance - between what's relatable and what's just too much. As fashion and lifestyle blogger Aayushi Bangur, who runs StyleDrive (208k followers), and posts frequent posts with her actor husband Smaran Sahu, says, "We got flak for not posting too many wedding pictures. But honestly, to maintain your sanity, you need to control how much you put out there. The more you share, they more people want. It's a black hole. It needs to be controlled."

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