The Internet creates amplified Parasocial relationships: Selena and Hailey Bieber 


The online drama between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber continues. Recently resurfaced videos, fan intervention, and perhaps a 3-way parasocial relationship is in play.

UPDATE: The recent murder of podcaster Dr. Zohreh Sadeghi is a case of a parasocial relationship gone wrong. The popular influencer and her husband were murdered by a stalker-fan on March 9.

Writer Meredith Clark recently detailed the cultural obsession with a decades-old feud between the influencers. And points out that something bigger is going on here.

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Selena’s with her fans is partly why the internet is largely on her side. The brutal Instagram comments are directed toward Hailey. 

It is positive to be open and vulnerable with your fanbase. But the more invested they are the more volatile a parasocial feud can become.

Parasocial relationships

A parasocial relationship refers to the one-sided, pseudo-friendship that audiences form with media personalities or personas. The term was first coined in 1956 by sociologists Donald Horton and Richard Wohl to describe how consumers interact with media figures.