So, you’re probably thinking, who is this ginger with the leather jacket & boots? Well! I thought you’d never ask, allow me to introduce myself.
I’m Sarah, the sheriff in town. 

I'm Sarah


How parasocial relationships are impacting our ability to connect

You may have heard the quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with“ by entrepreneur Jim Rohn. The sentiment here is the people we surround ourselves with play a significant role in defining who we are and influences how we learn and evolve.

Janine Garner, author of “It’s Who You Know” (and 2 other books that I adore, make sure to check them out) highlighted how building a network of 12 key people can fast track your success. Janine outlines the different types of relationships that are essential from mentors, sponsors, friends, and colleagues. Today, it’s not always necessarily about what you know, but who.

But what about the relationships we form online? I know I’ve met some incredible people online that have led to lifelong connections. However, in today’s digital age and the consumption of social media we find ourselves developing parasocial relationships with influencers and media figures that have large social presence. These one-sided relationships can provide an element of social connection, but can also lead to unrealistic expectations. At the same time, we can benefit from their messaging if we pair it with a dose of reality.

If you’re spending hours consuming content by one or two people, keep in mind that their consistent messaging may eventually form one of those in your close network, even subconsciously, without you realising.

Just like we curate our real-life social circles, we should be mindful of the individuals we “consume” online.

For myself, I can identify two online connections that I consume daily because I find their content both enriching and thought invoking. Lillian Ahenkan (aka FlexMami), an Author, Media Personality and Designer and Alie Ward, Science Communicator and Ologies Podcast Host. Do they know me from a bar of soap? Absolutely not, do I check in daily to consume their content and in turn leverage their messaging to enhance my own knowledge? You would be correct.

However, we need to acknowledge the complexity of parasocial relationships. While they can offer connection and inspiration, it’s important to remember their limitations. They cannot replace the irreplaceable value of real-life interactions and reciprocal relationships.

So, take stock of your online network. Are these parasocial relationships enriching your life? Are there others that might be holding you back? Remember, the key to healthy connections lies in balance and intentionality. Cultivate a network that reflects your values and supports your growth, both online and off.

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