If there’s one must-follow Boston Bruin on Instagram, it’s Zdeno Chara. His posts are a medley of time with family, time with friends, pictures with people he looks up to (figuratively speaking), and the most motivational weight lifting videos one could imagine.
His posts are centered around two things: his pursuit of excellence on the ice and his pursuit of living a full life as father-time mixes with hockey.
All are strung together through a candidness that isn’t often seen on Instagram accounts with 98,500 followers and a blue checkmark.
CLNS Bruins Insider Jimmy Murphy recently went 1-on-1 with Chara to talk about his Instagram.
“I just wanted to share a little bit of my life [on Instagram] on and off the ice,” said the 6’9″ blue-liner on why he joined Instagram in the first place. “It’s something that I decided to do. It’s mostly that I want to share it with the fans. I wanted to inspire and motivate people. Also to show some of my private life to a certain point.”
Fans have taken to Chara’s Instagram and he’s certainly noticed that.
“I think it’s been positive,” said Chara on the reaction from fans. “Obviously you can’t read all the comments and spend too much time on it. But I always try to keep it in the rules I set for myself that I won’t cross the line for certain parts of my life and if I keep it that way, I should be fine.
“I never go into promoting alcohol, tobacco, politics, or religion — those are very sensitive matters. I just try to keep it simple but at the same time to the point and try to send a good message.”
Some messages are short and to the point such as this post from last week.
Some are much longer.
Chara went on to talk about how connected he feels to the fans through social media and how that’s changed over the course of his career.
“Social media is a form of communicating with the fans and media,” said Chara. “But it’s really up to the individual how he likes to keep it more private or more open. Frequently putting stuff out there or using it for certain situations or things that he likes to do.
“It’s really up to the individual but comparing it to what has been since I’ve been in the league, it’s on another level. When I started, there weren’t even cell phones. Now technology is way beyond. Back then it was all about dial-up internet. The way you communicated was through writing letters.”
No cell phones and letters only? What a world.
Chara detailed what it was like to receive a letter in the late 90s when he began in the NHL.
“I was fine with it,” said the longest tenured captain in the NHL. “That’s all you knew. You kept it very humbling and very appreciative when you received a letter or post card or got a phone call. It was once in a while, not an everyday thing like it is today.”
Chara has an Instagram account and periodically uses Facebook. When asked whether or not he’d like to enter the Twitter arena, he didn’t seem keen on doing so.
“When I see something that I can put out there, I’ll do it. I don’t feel pressure that I have to do it every other day just because. And to have it between all the social media kinds, it would probably be too much to handle. I like to do it myself. It’s time consuming. If I want to do it, I want to do it right; quality not quantity.
“If I do all of them, it’s going to be only a little bit of my energy into all of those. Rather than do that, I spend more time in just one or two.”
For Chara, that’s the name of the game.