Famous people are a huge part of the modern world. Whether you’re talking about Instagram influencers, movie stars, or musicians, plenty of people are deeply involved in the lives of famous people. Plus, there have been celebrities stretching back centuries, with cultures across history having enjoyed learning about the famous people of their societies as well. Why do we love famous people so much? Here are four possible reasons.
1. Parasocial Relationships
The term “parasocial relationships” came about in 1956, and the term actually evolved to describe the way that people interacted with the at-the-time new personalities in radio and television, interacting with these stars as though they knew them personally. However, the term has regained popularity in recent years, with many people philosophizing about what parasocial relationships may mean in the modern era. While these types of pseudo-relationships with famous people can be healthy, they can also become dangerous, so it’s important to make sure you keep them at a healthy level.
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2. General Entertainment
Quite simply, it’s entertaining to learn more about celebrities and famous people. Much like people enjoy reading books and watching movies, many people like learning about celebrities because they like learning more about their history and more about what they’re doing right now. Especially because these relationships are relatively constructed, they can play out much like a movie, making them entertaining to follow.
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3. Role Models
Many people use famous people as one of their role models. While it’s definitely important to have role models that are real people in your life, celebrities can also have life paths that their fans can want to emulate. This is one reason some celebrities may talk about where they came from, especially if they came from struggles and hardship. If other people in those situations hear them talk about their path to success, those people may use them as role models to try and succeed as well.
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4. Social Bonding Behaviors
Social bonding is one of the reasons that people collect different interests. When two people first meet, you can be certain that one of the first things they’ll ask each other is “What do you like to do?” or “What kinds of things do you like?” If two people meet each other and they find out that they’re both fans of a specific band, they already have some common footing to lead into a relationship. Talking about the life of a famous person can make it easier to have a conversation when you don’t know someone well.
While it’s true that becoming too invested into the life of a famous person you don’t really know can become harmful, famous people have been an important part of every society stretching back thousands of years. It’s a common part of being human, but it’s also an interesting part. Learning more about why we love famous people so much as a society can be a great way to see your interests in a different light as well.
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