Relationships between Parasocial Groups: The Character of Celebrity Interest

 

Parasocial relationships can be one-sided. One person gives energy, time and interest to the other persona and the other is unaware. Parasocial relationships are more common among celebrities, sports stars and organizations.

Parasocial relationships are a way to expand your social network without fear of rejection. It empowers you to identify and model for others who naturally respond with empathy. Some people find the one-sided nature of this relationship to be a relief from the stress caused by their other relationships. Parasocial relationships can be cultivated through the media to look like face-to-face. We share so many experiences with Jay-Z, Justin Beiber, John Daily and Justin Beiber over time that we form an intimacy with them and feel they understand and know us.

Parasocial relationships were primarily between television personalities in the past. These relationships can also be between people and their favourite bloggers, social media users, or gamers. Parasocial relationships have also evolved in their intimacy and nature. Reality TV allows viewers to share intimate and personal stories with their television personalities. Celebrities openly share their thoughts and activities via various social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

The internet allows users to access media 24/7, which may increase parasocial interactions. Parasocial relationships are still one-sided. However, they have become more interactive, allowing people to communicate with their media personas and increasing intimacy and strength.

Parasocial relationships are not one-sided, but there are many similarities to traditional social relationships. Parasocial relationships can be voluntary and provide companionship. They are also influenced by social attraction. Additionally, viewers feel a connection to the media user and express affection, gratitude and longing towards them.

Relational maintenance is essential in maintaining a relationship with real family and friends. Parasocial relationships can also be maintained through events like weekly viewings on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Social media sites like Instagram and Twitter make it easier for viewers to express themselves through blogs and social media. Parasocial relationships are very popular in these online communities. This may be because viewers feel more connected to their characters or that parasocial interactions have a high reward with no rejection.

Parasocial relationships were considered pathological in the past and were seen as a sign of isolation, loneliness and social anxiety. One study showed that there wasn’t a correlation between loneliness and how intense viewers’ parasocial relationships with the characters. Another study has reduced stigma surrounding such relationships, leading clinicians to believe that these relationships can expand one’s social circle rather than limit it.

Parasocial relationships are valuable to viewers and can be very beneficial because they provide support. Oprah and Ellen are a great way for seriously ill people to spend an afternoon with a friend, without stress, and to gain strength from their friendship with them.

Parasocial individuals often show appreciation for their parasocial friends who helped them through difficult times. Some viewers see the personas helping them to shape their identity. Parasocial relationships offer support and are of significant value to viewers who engage in them. With new social media tools, these relationships can be a viable way for individuals to grow their social networks.