This paper focuses on the concept of parasocial relationship and its effects in relation to teenagers. The concept of parasocial relationships was first coined by Horton and Wohl in 1956. Parasocial relationships refer to one sided relationships in which one party knows more about the other party…
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According to the report findings, parasocial relationships refer to one-sided relationships in which one party knows more about the other party. For example, relationships between the general population and famous people such as members of parliament, celebrities, and news anchors. In parasocial scenarios, strong bonds are formed although one party is completely unaware of the other party. For example in the case of media, viewers may have strong bonds with media personalities yet the media personalities do not really have a social relationship with the viewers. In such a scenario the viewer feels that the media personalities are directly addressing them. Knowledge of parasocial relationships has come in handy to explain relationships between media users and media personalities. In this essay, I will describe the theory/concept of parasocial relationships and then illustrate it with an example from a perspective of media influence on teenagers.
This essay highlights that parasocial relationships are generally based on illusions and influence is expected to develop with time since they heavily rely on recurrence. Parasocial relationships are considered to be one-sided because they only have effects on one party. For example, parasocial relationships do not have an influence on media personalities but rather on viewers only. However, the concept of parasocial relationships does not only apply to media communication but also in other aspects of life. For example, long before the exploration of the subject by Horton and Wohl, there existed parasocial relationships such as those between people and the gods. Little was known about the gods yet they had a great influence on people’s lives and shaped the day to day activities.
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