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Steve from ‘Blue’s Clues’ Doesn’t Know You and Other Hard Truths About Parasocial Relationships

Nickelodeon benefits from an ultimately one-sided relationship, in which Steve from Blue’s Clues serves a manufactured comfort.  By Dede Akolo As we all know, Steve from Blue’s Clues is very proud of you and everything that you’ve accomplished. At least that’s what he says in this video released on Nickelodeon’s Twitter account for the twenty-fifth...


Parasocialism and Industry Amnesia in K-Pop Fandom

While “Global North” parasocialism tends to lean towards non-reciprocal parasocial interaction of fans merely admiring a celebrity, parasocialism in K-Pop fandom proves to be a more multi-directional devotion. By Sharon Kong-Perring In February 2020, three weeks before the world shut down, I began the grand rituals of a night out with someone special. Like any...


How Online Parasocial Dynamics Impact Marginalized Creators

Marginalized people with platforms face harsher expectations and worse criticism when it comes to parasocial dynamics online.  CW/TW: Discussion of white supremacy, queerphobia, social exploitation of marginalized people By Shaanth Nanguneri  In every Tiktok, Youtube video, and Tweet we consume, our parasocial relationships with content creators are evolving. The idea of a parasocial relationship in...


A Parasocial Love Story: Where the Intimate and the Performative Collide

As socialization increasingly shifts online, we are likely to form more (and more intense) parasocial bonds and see a blurring of the boundaries between the real and the parasocial.  By Sohel Sarkar In 1893, when Arthur Conan Doyle shoved his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes off a cliff, fans went into public mourning, forcing the author...