Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



Current research on parasocial relationships has a focus on the media consumer and the media personae in television or film where the media consumer exerts time and emotional energy into the relationship while the character is unaware of their existence. The purpose of this study is to explore the Influencers and further conceptualize the term parasocial relationship to include these online mediated relationships and interactions. This study explores parasocial relationships and what is associated with them in the context of social media with respondents who consistently engage with social media Influencers. Social media Influencers address their audiences personally and share content that entices people to continue following or interacting with them. This mutual awareness between the social media Influencer and the media consumer strengthens the parasocial relationship. I hypothesize that people who consistently engage with specific social media Influencers will report positive associations between parasocial relationships, homophily, identification and wishful identification with the Influencer. The possibility and amount of interaction between the Influencer and the individual would also entice people to engage with the Influencer more frequently.



Committee Chair

Dr. Meghan Sanders