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What Are Parasocial Relationships?
You’ve probably heard the term parasocial relationship occasionally in the last few years, and it was quite prominent when John Mulaney triggered the outrage of over-invested fans by going to rehab, getting divorced, and getting a former fan pregnant within a matter of months. You should be able to identify a parasocial relationship before it becomes a problem.
A parasocial relationship consists of one-way interactions and idolization from one party toward a public figure who isn't aware of their significance to that party or even that party’s existence. With social media, it’s common for a fan to reach out to a celebrity or influencer, but when a person’s interest in a public figure becomes obsessive, that’s when it becomes a problem.
Parasocial relationships can lead to overspending, using unsafe products, or even romantic/sexual relationships where the idolized person holds all the power, which can lead the fan to go to extreme measures to please the idol, such as over-exercising or plastic surgery. If you feel like you may be susceptible to this, take a social media break and spend time with loved ones.