Talk:Parasocial Internet Relationships

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Hi Jeffrey, thanks for letting me review your Wiki article. I've learned a bit about parasocial relationships in previous courses and always thought it was an interesting concept, especially in terms of ethics and social media. I really appreciated being able to read more about it and how it relates to this course through your article.

Length - It looks like the article is around 2,800 words so far. Really close to the assignment's requirements, so no real concerns on reaching that minimum before the final deadline.

Structure - Though the formatting is still a work in progress, it looks like your article contains the three components necessary. In the opening paragraph which summarizes the issue, I found the use of "persona" really interesting as it emphasizes the fact that the media figure's internet identity is a crafted projection of themselves (or who they wish to portray) rather than the relationship being built between two people on the regular, face-to-face basis. It's a great lead-in to Horton and Wohl's definition of parasocial interactions, which helps in providing broad context to the reader about the topic. I believe your ability to end the introduction with a statement on how impactful these parasocial relationships can be, and how they can lead to ethical concerns surrounding the misbalance between an internet persona and their audience members (e.g. viewers serving as a source of profit for the celebrity, and the celebrity only acting as a source of entertainment in return) nicely tied up your opening statements. For the body of your article, I enjoyed the section detailing the development of how parasocial interactions can eventually lead to parasocial relationships. It really highlights the significance of how these relationships can create this illusion of intimacy in the audience's mind, which is the foundation for the issues that may arise. The description of the several different phenomenas and theories that contribute to the idea of how parasocial relationships are formed were neutrally stated and thorough, with some examples to help the reader understand these different concepts. The next section about marketing was a smooth transition into how these relationships can be turned into something profitable and commercialized. The reader can draw individual conclusions regarding how the these resulting sponsorship deals can frame a virtual ecosystem which puts the viewer and the internet persona at an imbalance. Parasocial relationships with fictional characters, like Marvel's Iron Man, was another interesting point, showing how companies themselves can be the puppeteers behind forming calculated parasocial bonds. For the sections detailing the controversies and ethical dilemmas which can arise (e.g. the Valkyrae and Charli D'Amelio antidotes), if you are looking to increase your word count, I might suggest really emphasizing that the backlash received from fans were a result of audience members feeling a parasocial connection to the persona that was much stronger than what the persona felt (i.e. tie it back to your earlier point about how this misbalance leads to a misunderstanding between celebrity and audience because the celebrity is only looking for financial gain). Also, adding a couple sentence intro at the beginning of larger sections introducing it and its significance would create an overall smooth transition between points and examples. As for statements being backed up by references to reliable resources, I think you provided some great quotes and sources. Good job!

Clarity - Your article's purpose was made clear in the introduction paragraph. Like mentioned above, possibly just re-emphasizing those points in your other sections would wrap it up really nicely.

Objective - From what I can tell, everything seems to be in a very neutral point of view. The only opinionated language I can find are direct quotes in the Valkyrae and D'Amelio paragraphs. It might be really interesting to add comments from users who defended the internet celebrities during these moments of controversy. It would bring up a compelling point about how parasocial bonds can become so strong from the audience's perspective that they refuse to hold their favorite celebrities accountable. It might also neutralize the hate comments described earlier.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading your article. I found it to be really fascinating and eye-opening to how ethical dilemmas can arise from the formation of parasocial relationships.

- Abby