Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

Just another weblog

Parasocial Relationships

leave a comment »

Our class discussion about parasocial relationships made me think about how obsessed some people can become with characters in the media. Part of the reason anyone ever becomes so interested in, or become such a big follower of, a certain show on television is often because they feel like they know the characters. They may feel like the characters are real people, not just made up figures. However, even people in the media who are not made up for a television show are not always really the person they are portrayed to be in the media. We can think we know a media figure, but how someone acts in interviews and on public appearances does not always truly reflect how they really are behind closed doors.

One example of a parasocial relationship in my life is Derek Jeter. I have been watching baseball since I was in middle shool and have always been a Yankees fan. Derek Jeter is the captain, and has been with the team for his whole MLB career. From watching his performance in games to watching his interviews and even the commercials he appears in, I have become to feel like I really know Derek Jeter. On opening day of one of the seasons in recent years, Derek Jeter hurt his shoulder badly when sliding into third base. I practically cried when this happened because I knew he would be out for most of the beginning of the season, and I also felt so bad this was happening to him- it was the sort of empathy I would have if the same thing happened to a real friend of mine. Since Derek Jeter really does feel like my friend, and my soon to be husband, him getting hurt made me feel really upset. However, I have obviously never spoken to Derek Jeter or had any sort of real, direct interaction with him. Parasocial relationships are formed quite easily because if we feel like we can relate to someone in the media, we want to truly relate to them, and form in our minds a real relationship.

Written by lynnie23

May 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: