PSR- parasocial relationships is a phrase coined in 1956 to describe the psychological relationship between audience and performer in the media- especially at the time – our TV news hosts. It can be defined as the unreciprocated connection that people feel with media personalities. We know them but they don’t know us. They come into our living room and talk to us and we see the mall the time. Is this relationship dangerous?
There is nothing new about the bonds we have with celebs. And especially now with technological advances and the horrors of being locked in a cave at home during COVID, our media connections can be a blessing. Unusual times calls for unusual remedies. The good news is that they help with our social needs and our social anxiety and offer comfort and advice and a way for us to learn positive things. There is high reward with no chance of rejection. We strive to be like them and we also see that celebs can suffer like us and this eases our own pain and troubles. The bad news about parasocial relationships is that they can be a crutch, sort of like an addiction – to take the place of facing the troubles in our lives. Anything that gets us to hide and avoid reality is only a curtain that eventually must be revealed. Ask yourself – are you focusing too much on someone else? Do you neglect your own life? What is this relationship fulfilling? What needs to be healed in my own self?
Anything that is taken to an extreme is not good for us. But wanting to be like batman or catwoman- why not?
Listen to Let’s Go There with Shira & Ryan – Omny.fm where I talk with Shira & Ryan about the topic, and read USA Today where I talk about Parasocial Relationships.