[Video Audio] - Parasocial Interactions and Scammers and Hurt Feelings, Oh My!

Being MaryJane 

I've been down the YouTube rabbit hole again!

I recently happened upon several YouTube videos, by mostly young women, describing their experiences purportedly being deceived by a travel influencer named MaryJane Byarm. 

On the surface, MaryJane seems to live a charmed, carefree life jet setting across the globe, or at least that's how it looks on her carefully curated Instagram page and slickly edited YouTube videos.

According to supporters who literally bought into MaryJane's travel dream, where they hoped to also live their best globetrotting life, MaryJane reportedly turned out to be a dodgy, narrow-minded, moody, and unscrupulous scammer who took young women's money for a travel package she advertised and sold to them before robbing them of enriching experiences in Dubai and Egypt.

What happens to a dream deferred when followers, fandoms, and subscribers become so emotionally invested in influencers, internet grifters, political leaders, and celebrities they become victims of fraud or worse? In this surface dive, I blather about how parasocial interactions can backfire on people who feed into the cult of personality to their own detriment. This will likely be the first in a series exploring the psychology behind parasocial relationships

**The commentary begins at the 6:42 mark.