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From alphabet and numerical melodies to High School Musical songs. From platforms like Facebook and MySpace to TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Today’s younger generations have grown up on technology and social media, but like numerous things in life, there is a good and a bad to this constant consumption of social media and exposure of each other. Social media has and continues to offer a space for people to connect with their friends and loved ones when distance tries to pull them apart, but it can also drive a wedge between people online and in real life. Social media also allows users to meet new people who have similar interests or are deemed cool and interesting to the user. This opens up a space where people can find and engage in a community and explore their interests through other people. This ultimately influences the audience’s identity, but what happens when we build an attachment to these influencers in a similar way we attach to our friends. Parasocial relationships are psychological relationships that are built between the audience and their mediated figure. My essay will explore how parasocial relationships are built between teen and young adult audiences and their favorite celebrities, with an emphasis on the impact these parasocial relationships have on the audience. Parasocial relationships have been found to impact an influencer’s credibility, by mimicking two way familial, platonic, and sometimes even romantic relationships, thus gauging how marketable they are whilst fulfilling the audiences’ belongingness needs. These mediated relationships provide a safe space where audience members can be creative and more confident in themselves but swing the pendulum too far, and the mediated figure becomes a source of escapism and not of enjoyment.



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