Photo credit (Independent.co.uk)
When I was in my teens, I had posters of the girls I wanted to be like (Kylie Minogue) and boys I wanted to marry (Jason Donovan) – just like countless other teenage girls. But those celebs in the pages of the glossy mags, in the soaps and on the Top 40 on a Sunday night were a world away. I suspect only a fraction of what I knew about them was true, and there was no way for me to see what their life was like or to communicate with them. They remained on a pedestal, well stuck to my bedroom wall.
Now, young people feel closer to their idols thanks to social media. There’s plenty to be negative about social media, like random people becoming millionaires by talking about their lives and taking far too many selfies. But this week, I discovered a real positive. Rugby superstar Chris Robshaw, who’s captained England, was in Guernsey and I had the pleasure of spending time with him. Through our client Ravenscroft, Rob spent time coaching and training with more than 50 young rugby players.
He’s a phenomenal sportsman who has played around the world, led his country into battle on the rugby field, has a beautiful girlfriend and has an admiring legion of young fans. That could put him on the same pedestal as the celebs I admired.But through social media and the internet, the boys and girls at the training session already knew so much about Rob. He’s on Twitter and Instagram. They can follow him, see what he’s doing on and off the field, read about him and watch him play at every level from being a schoolboy to leading his country out for the first time at Murrayfield in his early 20s.
Social media allows young players to see Chris is a really nice, normal guy and works hard to do something he loves. He isn’t any more special than any one of them, and if he can do it then why can’t they? One young lad told me the only reason he plays rugby is because of Chris Robshaw. How inspiring for the younger generation that their idols aren’t just pictures on a bedroom wall, but real people.