The definition of “role model” has changed significantly over the last several decades. With advancements in communication technologies, most notably, the Internet, talented and brilliant individuals have found new ways to reach out and inspire the younger generations.
As such, children have numerous ways to meet and interact with their favorite role models, whether through in-person meet-and-greets or online question-and-answer forums. Here are 10 platforms that are helping kids connect with their heroes.
About 25% of kids say entertainment figures, artists, sports figures and national or international leaders are their role models. The problem is, these figures are usually difficult to access – which is where Collide comes in. Collide is a social media platform that allows users to watch and interact with their favorite artists, musicians, and other creative personalities through live video, texting, and voice calls. Users are able to watch their role models partake in their respective activities in real time.
For example, a few weeks ago users were able to watch and chat with Poker World Champion Phil Hellmuth during a game of poker. Even soccer phenom Pelé has a profile on collide.com.
Users can sign up for free and subscribe to their role models as fast as they can find them.
With 1.9 Billion active users, Facebook has established itself as the premiere social media platform. With both web-based and app-based versions, Facebook has given individuals the ability to share their lives with their friends since 2004.
Facebook’s user base includes many role models that regularly post their content on their timelines and interact with their fans through direct chats, fan pages, and live video blogging. This is especially great for younger users that want to easily stay up to date and interact with the people they admire.
With a community that has reached the 700 million mark, Instagram is a platform through which role models are able to interact with their admirers through image posts, direct chats, live video streams, and video sharing. Once someone follows their role model’s account, they gain immediate access and insight into the lives of their heroes. Musicians, especially, have been known to share behind-the-scenes images and videos of upcoming music and shows on Instagram, as well as interact directly with their fans.
Twitter gives its users 140 characters to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. For most users, 140 characters are more than enough to share the highlights of their day-to-day activities. However, for those who are following their role models on Twitter, 140 is never enough.
Among Twitter’s 328 million monthly active users are millions of creative individuals that use the platform to quickly interact with their fans and update their followers with information about their latest creations. This allows users like your kids to contact their favorite personalities and potentially get a response.
Pinterest allows users to create and share images with each other by “pinning” them to each other’s boards. Pinterest has only been around since 2010, but over 150 million users frequent the site each month.
Pinterest allows creators and fans to share and re-share new content as soon as it’s created, so kids can be the first to know about the activities of their role models, follow their boards, and even get some DIY tips from the greats.
YouTube has become the go-to site for all Internet video content. 1 billion users view and share videos with each other on YouTube.com. Artists, musicians, Internet personalities, and real-world celebrities all use YouTube to share videos of their content with their fans. The site also allows fans to comment, ask questions, share, or even link their own videos in response to the posts by their role models.
Watching people play video games might not sound like the typical interaction one has with their role model, but ask almost any child about professional gaming and you’d be surprised to see how many “professionals” they can list.
Twitch.tv allows its users to watch and chat with their favorite gaming stars while the stars do what they do best: play video games. Additionally, streamers host virtual social events and contests, giving their subscribers an unprecedented level of insight into their craft. In 2015, over 241 billion minutes of live video gameplay were streamed.
LinkedIn isn’t just a site for exchanging business information with other professionals; it’s also a platform on which professionals can share experiences, thoughts, and insights regarding their careers and activities.
With over 450 million users, kids and adolescents can easily find professionals in their dream career field and reach out to them to find out what it takes to be successful in that industry.
Reddit, also known as the “Front Page of the Internet,” provides its users with multiple interaction options over a wide variety of different subjects. Of these options, question and answer sessions known as AMAs (short for Ask Me Anything) let users ask their role models all types of questions and receive direct responses.
Want to know how Olympic athletes train for their events? Several athletes have answered this question – and many more – on Reddit AMAs. In fact, former U.S. President Barack Obama’s AMA had over 5.2 million page views.
ASKfm is a question and answer platform that has been around for several years, but has undergone a recent face lift. With over 150 million users, most of which are teens, ASKfm has become a great resource for people to seek and share advice with each other – as well as from their role models who participate on the site.
Artists, authors, athletes, scientists, actors, and other stars often love to share their content and ideas on social media. Accordingly, today’s children and adolescents have immediate and in-depth access to their role models. Who are your kids’ role models, and how could they meet them?