Parasocial Relationships in New Media



Webster, Paul

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This study seeks to explore the relation of parasocial relationships and new media, such as YouTube and Twitch. To this end, this study has conducted interviews with media personae who garner millions of views per a video on these platforms. The perspective of the media personae is rarely taken into account by scholars such as Rebecca B. Rubin and, despite attention paid to the study of networked communication, new media itself has not been studied in relation to parasocial relationships. Understanding how new technology platforms and media influence and interact with our society socially is important for determining uses of these platforms and exploring how they mold our society. Through interviews with media personae and a comprehensive analysis of literature on parasocial relationships, this study finds that, because of the interactive nature of new media platforms, parasocial relationships are more likely to develop as a part of a content creator’s growth. The growth of parasocial relationships because of the interactive nature of new media platforms can be shown via the use of uncertainty reduction theory and parasocial relationship theory as applied to the interviews conducted.



Parasocial, Procedural rhetoric, Twitch, New media, YouTube, Ethos construction