If you’ve been watching my videos for a while now or if you’ve been watching my videos regularly I’d be curious to know whether you think of me as your friend or how you think of me I was thinking about this recently because I watched a multi-part video essay on YouTube now I forgotten the name of the of the.
Series or even the channel but I’ll link to it in the description of this video it was about parasocial relationships which.
I think is a really interesting concept although I don’t actually like the name very much the idea of a parasocial relationship is a relationship that is one-sided or it’s with a person who you will never meet.
Or someone who isn’t even real because they’re a fictional character or some kind of robot or artificial intelligence it’s not a true two-way relationship where you’re where you’re giving.
Your own inputs and contributing to the interaction in some way you’re.
Only on the receiving end of wherever this other person or thing is saying and doing the video essay goes into a lot of examples about this but I was most intrigued by thinking about the examples of YouTube and twitch as platforms where people start to make these parasocial relationships I should say.
That they’re not always harmful or dysfunctional a lot of parasocial relationships I think are very normal if like me you watch a lot of YouTube videos and you follow a few channels that I would call personality channels and YouTube channels that are driven by the either a.
Person or a small group of people who you find endearing that they’re they’re endearing qualities of what makes you keep coming back.
To the channel it’s not it’s not exactly entertainment although of course you are getting entertainment as well and all the time and it’s not a it’s not an informative channel you know something there you go to you to get interesting information or ideas it’s if those channels that you go to you because you like the personality of the person or people in the videos I think twitch is a really interesting example of this because it’s it’s.
So raw the interaction between you and the the twitch streamer is so it’s unedited it’s.
And all a person might be putting.
On some kind of low-key performance it’s pretty difficult to keep up an intense act for that long so it’s you’ve got a.
Good assured assurance that they’re being at least somewhat honest about who they really are in the video I say they’ve got me thinking about this the essayist said that the the interactions that you have with these online people you’re getting a version of them.
That is not real and that’s that’s part of this parasocial relationship is that you think you know this.
Person because you’ve been watching them for hours or listening to them but really you don’t know them the same way that the family does or a true friend does and that’s actually something that I disagree with I think that although that’s definitely possible if they’re more of an entertainer but I think these twitch streamers and these people who post every single day.
I think a lot of them really are being quite genuine and although of course they’re putting on a show they are you do get an idea of who they are I think if for instance you met me in person I have met a few people who got to know me through YouTube I think the people who watched my videos and then got to know me would probably.
Think that I’m pretty similar to what they’re expecting based on in these videos but still watching someone on YouTube or twitch or listening to a podcast is not the same as being friends with them not because the person isn’t real because they’re not really like that but because it’s one-sided because you’re not putting anything up for them you’re not put you’re not putting anything into the relationship you’re just receiving this one way kind.
Of good feelings good this company that you feel like you have when you’re experiencing them but they have no opportunity to pass any judgment on you they can’t they can’t get into an argument with you they can’t get into even a conversation with you they have.
No opinion of you at all because.
They do not even know that you exist rather than calling it a parasocial relationship I’d rather call that a similar relationship or a simulated friendship I think that’s more descriptive of what’s actually going on of course the other side of this is the simulated romantic relationship which is a pretty huge genre that is.
Not really talked about a lot of streamers on Twitch or rather there’s a there’s.
A sub community of twitch streamers who are very attractive young women and although on the surface you might attribute their their popularity to a kind of.
Softcore pornography that these.
Watching the video is getting you might assume that they’re getting something sexual out of it and maybe they are most certainly some of them are but I think.
There’s also this component of it’s a simulated girlfriend experience not just the sexual experience but also the intimacy of having a beautiful young woman talking to you is if she just she’s your friend it’s a she’s your girlfriend I watched a compilation.
Recently of female twitch streamers being adorable it was just them it was just cute moments from from twitch basically even I found them hypnotizing they were just these really charismatic beautiful women who were talking.
To the camera and like they’re very good at it then they.
Tell these intimate stories about themselves and for someone who has a lot of difficulty finding a real romantic relationship with a with someone in in the real world I can imagine how satisfying it would.
Be to engage in this simulation of a relationship probably with a woman who is far in excess of what most men have access to it’s almost women for that matter that most of most lesbian women do not are not able.
Are so beautiful I’m not going to go into whether it’s moral or immoral for these two these streamers to be doing this I think.
That’s a complicated question but it’s not exactly what I’m asking myself at the moment I think what I would really like to know is how is what effect is this having on the people people watching either with the in the case of friendship or with these romantic relationship simulations it’s an unfortunate fact of life.