Parasocial Interaction Essay

460 WordsFeb 27, 20152 Pages
During the morning of 18 September 2013, a Via Rail train collided with an Ottawa transit bus at a railway crossing. Global’s Mike Le Couteur reports the event with a solemn tone as the collision takes the lives of six people and injures thirty-one more. He empathizes with the families of the victims as she tries to explain the tragic event. Le Couteur communicates and interacts with the television camera as if he were really speaking to a person or directly addressing the audience. He asks and answers questions as if people were actually there in front of him expressing interest and the anticipated response she psychologically expects. When people view this news cast, they identify with Le Couteur and the families of the victims because they know that this could happen to anyone. Some people may automatically go as far as to speak to the television set as if Le Couteur could hear and respond. Barnes (2008) identifies that parasocial interaction is the adjustment of the presentation to the audience so that they feel as if they are the only person being addressed. It allows the presenter to somewhat personalize their presentations without actually doing so. Parasocial interaction resembles one on one interaction in a way that one person (the presenter) appears to address the other person or the audience directly by adjusting their actions to the receivers responses. If the other the user responds as expected, they may experience the encounter as immediate, personal, and reciprocal, but these qualities are illusory and are presumably not shared by the speaker. As the text states, the term interaction can be misleading in that parasocial interaction is more of an automatic psychological process rather than a rehearsed give and take action. The receiver tends to relate to the presenter in a way that creates a relationship if the receiver(s) perceive themselves as
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