I have a love-hate relationship with social media; i.e., Twitter and Facebook. Especially Twitter. Upon winning the Steaz contest and claiming my ticket to Blissdom, I (figuratively, of course) was shoved with great force and enthusiasm into the foreign land of social media. For the most part, I really enjoy it! Connecting with people from around the country and even the world is first and foremost a great deal of fun. The internet has made the globe a tiny marble and connected us virtually to one another. But I have reservations.
Much of my study in college was conducted in mass media. I had (and still have) an enormous interest in parasocial relationships (PSR's). Many of my papers, finally culminating in my senior thesis, revolved around them. Here's a link to a Wikipedia article about Parasocial Interaction (PSI). Yes I know Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source of information on the planet, but it had a very clear definition.
So basically a Parasocial Relationship is a one-sided relationship between two people. Often it's used to describe fans and "characters," but can you see how easily this translates into web presence? I've seen this with bloggers. Just read some comments on "famous" mommy bloggers' posts. There are plenty of people who comment as if they know the author. And we, as bloggers, foster this relationship. We tell intimate stories about our lives, our families, and at times, really difficult moments. I LOVE that about blogging. You know I love looking into people's lives, and I love people looking into mine. But still, I feel awkward. And I'd like to start a little discussion. You don't have to answer these questions here (but you can if you want). You can message me on Twitter (I'm @BoldRach4X), email me at racheeb (@) gmail (.) com, or better yet, find me at Blissdom!
How do you feel about blog readers who feel they know you?
Do you consider your relationships on Twitter, etc. to be "real" relationships?
I guess what I'm getting at is this: I follow some amazing people through their blogs and Twitter. I don't want to be the one about whom they say "Man, that girl is CRAAAA--ZY! She thinks she knows me and thinks we're friends, but no way! LAAAAME!"
In the digital age, are we forming real connections with each other? As Blissdom approaches, I'm getting more and more excited to meet so many awesome bloggers in real life (which I've learned is abbreviated to IRL!) and solidify our relationships. I want to make sure our friendship isn't parasocial.