Short Response 8

Short Response 8

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After reviewing the video below, respond to the following prompts:

Thorn’s distinction analysis is the nature of what’s called a parasocial relationship as it pertains to acting across media (specifically YouTube versus television, film, and drama).

A parasocial relationship is “a kind of psychological relationship experienced by an audience in their mediated encounters with performers in the mass media, particularly on television.[1] Viewers or listeners come to consider media personalities as friends, despite having limited interactions with them. PSI is described as an illusionary experience, such that media audiences interact with personas (e.g., talk show host, celebrities, fictional characters, social media influencers) as if they are engaged in a reciprocal relationship with them” (Wikipedia).

1. How does Oliver distinguish the parasocial relationships between actors (or even talkshow hosts) and YouTube influencers?

In what way is a YouTubers relationship with fans more “truthful” even when it’s scripted — or even when that YouTuber uses an alias (like Oliver Thorn)?

2. At one point in the video, Oliver’s detective character asks him about how many takes it took him to do his emotional “Cosmonaut” video on depression (which is a great video if you’d like to check it out — just know it deals with some intense themes!).

Should the fact that it took Oliver 8 takes to get this emotionally intense “confession” right change the way a viewer perceives it? Why or why not? Did Oliver “sacrifice the truth” so that he could make a more entertaining piece?

Would you have the same reaction to a “confession” on a reality TV show (like The Bachelor) if you knew it had been scripted and retaped? Why or why not?

3. What do you think of Oliver’s claim that, as a YouTuber, his relationship isn’t actually parasocial but social? Unlike other art forms, Oliver reads comments, letters, and emails — and then forms his content based on that communication — which he suggests creates a unique relationship with fans. Do you agree or disagree?

Do you have any YouTuber’s (or any other media personalities such as actors, writers, podcasters, etc.) that you identify with a parasocial (or social) way? What is it about them as people or their content that makes them “genuine” or “truthful”?
YouTube: Art or Reality? | Philosophy Tube

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