A recent word to describe a pseudo-relationship that a viewer feels with a public performer. This is an increasing phenomenon given the unprecedented access that social media has given us to the lives of public figures. There used to be a clear separation between viewer and performer, but that has diminished over time, resulting in this neurosis.

From Wikipedia:

[…] repeated exposure to the media persona causes the media user to develop illusions of intimacy, friendship, and identification. Positive information learned about the media persona results in increased attraction, and the relationship progresses. Parasocial relationships are enhanced due to trust and self-disclosure provided by the media persona.

From The Blurred Lines of Parasocial Relationships: The disappearing divide between “followers” and “friends”:

The openness and candor with which many online creators speak is more than many average people would divulge to friends and family, and more than friends and family might divulge to them.

For some, these information bytes form the basis of a parasocial relationship: instead of discussing a recent video posted by “someone they follow,” a fan might speak about “someone they know,” going so far as to refer to their favorite creator as a friend.

Why I Looked It Up

From the article linked in the description.

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