What are Parasocial Relationships?
The theory of Parasocial relationships come from the 1950's where researchers found that audiences had a one way relationship with certain TV and radio personalities.
Parasocial relationships are the apparent and one-sided relationships that can occur between media characters and their audiences.
Parasocial relationships can be based on real or created characters, and are creating using codes of realism and intimacy.
When we start looking for these codes of intimacy we start noticing them everywhere in film and tv characters, but in the realm of new media they are quite common. Influencers, Youtubers, Instagrammers and Twitch streamers all use ways to make their audience feel like they they have a close relationship with their audience, when in reality thhey know very little about their audience.
Extra Readings / Resources
Parasocial Relationships: The Nature of Celebrity Fascinations
Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships, where one person extends emotional energy, interest and time, and the other party, the persona, is completely unaware of the other's existence. Parasocial relationships are most common with celebrities, organizations (such as sports teams) or television stars.
How Our Make-Believe Relationships With Celebrities Shape Our Social Lives
Jaye Derrick has a special relationship with the television sitcom Friends. Years ago, she began to notice a recurring pattern: whenever she had a fight with her boyfriend she would turn on her television and watch reruns of the popular sitcom.