Parasocial Relationships Have Increased Because of New Media Outlets

in psychology •  last year

Parasocial relationships are easily explained as one sided relationships, where the majority of the time one party doesn’t know the other even exists. Most commonly you see this relationship between a celebrity and the common person. Sometimes it will get out of hand with a celebrity who has a stalker that is not in the right mental place, but the majority of the time it is beneficial for one of the individuals. In our society the celebrities some who feed off fame, get the fame and money they desire, while in a weird way the other party might feel like they are filling a hole in their heart.

However, parasocial relationships are becoming much more of a normalcy in today’s society as opposed to a few decades ago. Part of the cause is just because of how much more we are exposed to a celebrity’s life, but I would argue the major cause might actually be in the type of media we are consuming. The younger generations of people, those who are more likely to fall victim to parasocial relationships, aren’t consuming as much television or mainstream media . While their parents might have been raised on television watching sitcoms, it is not uncommon for the youth of today to spend the majority of their time on the internet watching videos.

The problem for the youth watching media on the internet, is that it’s a much different type of content than a television sitcom. Youtube Vloggers, twitch streamers or content creators are creating content that is candid in production and feels like it is aimed at you specifically. People who end up idolizing these creators often are using them to fill the void of regular relationships in their everyday life. They feel like these creators understand them but in reality they are usually just one of millions of fans, not very different than admirers of a mainsteam show.

The way that the content is presented causes youths to create a parasocial relationship with the creators that often only benefits one side. Creators who ask for money to support themselves or just to buy luxuries, are being funded more than ever before. People, many times young children, will donate all the money they have to these creators, just so they notice them, or because they believe they are really their friends. I have wrote a bit about this topic of donating before, but putting it in context of parasocial relationships, really helps one understand why they do it.

Its okay if you like someone who gives you hours of content and it is even okay to support them a little, but if you think your relationship with them is any more than a business one, you usually are kidding yourself. They might genuinely love their fan base, but more than likely, you as one individual is hard to distinguish from the rest. I mostly write this post to warn those who read it about the dangers of parasocial relationships because I do expect them to grow as time goes on. In a virtual age that has connected us, but in many ways left us alone and devoid of human warmth, parasocial relationships will continue to grow.


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Good to be aware of this for our kids. There really is no substitute for a strong family to meet emotional needs. And that's not always the norm these days

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I agree, even if it isnt supplied children will search it in other and fall short for the rest of their lives.

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The treatment of kids is one of the saddest aspect of our society.

I am also fond of something but I didn't reach that point of parasocial relationship. I also agree that social media is one of the reason why most young peole now are highly idolizing their biases, (shouting when the television focuses their idols, buying useless stuffs which favors to whom they fond of and worst, starting imagining that someday their biases will marry them). It makes no sense! they never think that they are part of a million fans and no one of them their biases know.
But anyway thanks for that eye opening post, hoping that many people gonna be enlighten by that.

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Its okay to love a creator or their work, I just think that some people take it way too far. If you think you could have more than a one sided relationship with the people you adore, 99.9999999% of the time you wont.

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yeah people really take it too far, if I were they I'll just have moment with my family

It really is amazing how the internet has taken us over unawares these days. Many of us are so focused on our online lives that we neglect our "real" face to face everyday lives. Yesterday we had a power outage. Power was out for 2 hours. I went out into the yard and noticed my neighbor was standing in his yard. We talked for a little bit about what a drag it was to be offline. Then the power came back on and we retreated to our own homes. I just now got to thinking,,,it's been about 6 months since I've seen that guy to talk to. Perhaps he needs to get a Steemit account? Or perhaps I need to get out of the house more often and focus on real world matters. :-)

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Things are only going to get more extreme over time in my opinion. Take advantage of in person meetings.

Yeah, I noticed. Not only on celebrities these days.

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In many way these people making videos are celebrities. Some get as much or more views on their content and have a further outreach. Youtube is moving towards the mainstream.

Always enjoy reading your posts. Resteemed

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thanks i appreciate it !

Hello. Good 😊 blog. Thanks 🙏

I wonder if this is how Anita Sarkeesian manages to actually fund her ridiculous misandry projects. Some sort of "donation-virtue-signalling"?

I like technology, but things would be a lot better if people would simply put down their goddamn phones once in a while to have a non-distracted conversation.

The common trope of someone buried in their hand-sized screen is all too familiar, and I think it may be the start of something that stunts an entire generation(s) social abilities.

I think I've felt this way a lot of times, but when I realize that these people don't feel anything for me, any connection I feel towards them tends to wane.