Parasocial Relationships: The Nature of Celebrity Fascinations

Posted on December 30, 2021

People involved in para-social relationships are constantly expending emotional energy, interest and time into a person who is completely unaware of their existence. This is the harsh reality of celebrity-fan relationships, which is getting more common due to the rise in social media networks.

But why do we keep developing such relationships?

Expand the social network in a way that negates the chance of rejection and empowers individuals to model and identify with individuals of their choosing who naturally elicit an empathic response. For some, it’s resemblance to face-to-face relationships allows them to have relief from strained complementary relationships in their real life. Eventually, they develop an intimacy and friendship with the celebrity and feel that they know and understand them.
This, alongside the increased internet dependency due to the pandemic, leads to more people engaging in para social interactions. The more engaging interactive virtual environments are the perfect greenhouse for such behaviors, increasing the intimacy and strength of the parasocial relationship.

However, with that said, there is no correlation between loneliness and the intensity of viewers’ parasocial relationship with celebrities. Individuals with parasocial relationships are often grateful towards their favorite personas for helping them to get through tough times. Additionally, some viewers perceive that the personas help them to shape their own personalities. The support that parasocial relationships provides are of substantial value to the viewers that engage in them, and with new social media techniques, these relationships are a viable way to expand individuals’ social networks.

Category(s):Attachment Issues, Empathy

Source material from find a psychologist