(Podcast) Parasocial Relationships: From “Pookie Nation” to Oli London’s Marriage with Jimin (of BTS)

Levels of Parasocial Relationships (Giles & Maltby, 2006), April 18, 2022, illustration from Getting Real With Parasocial Relationships

Welcome to our next episode of the podcast!

Today Nikol (@trynnau) and I will explore an intriguing topic of parasocial relationships in the digital environment, using examples of Prayag Mishra’s relatively new “Pookie” trend, and Oli London’s marriage with a paper cut-out of Jimin from BTS, a popular K-POP group. Sounds interesting, right?

Hope you have enjoyed it! Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Aw, Eugene Cheng-Xi, and Stephanie Hui-Wen Chuah. “‘Stop the Unattainable Ideal for an Ordinary Me!’ Fostering Parasocial Relationships with Social Media Influencers: The Role of Self-discrepancy.” Journal of Business Research 132 (August 2021): 146-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.04.025.

Bennett, Zak, and Erica Tempesta. “EXCLUSIVE: K-pop Super Fan MARRIES a Cardboard Cutout of His Singing Idol in a Bizarre Ceremony   in Las Vegas – after Spending $165,000 on Surgery to Look Just like the Star.” DailyMail. Last modified January 7, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7858307/K-pop-superfan-MARRIES-cardboard-cutout-idol-Las-Vegas.html.

Cuthill, Bryanna. “Anyone Else a Part of Pookie Nation on TikTok?” Her Campus. Last modified October 20, 2023. https://www.hercampus.com/culture/prayag-mishra-pookie-nation-tiktok-explainer/.

Giles, David C., and John Maltby. “Praying at the Altar of the Stars.” The Psychologist 19, no. 2 (2006): 82-85. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242475256_Praying_at_the_altar_of_the_stars.

Sup3rN0v44. “Pookie.” Urban Dictionary. Last modified July 3, 2023. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pookie.

Tan, Christie, and Vedanshi Kapadia. “Getting Real with Parasocial Relationships.” Simple Neuroscience. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.simplyneuroscience.org/post/getting-real-with-parasocial-relationships.

Tan, Christie, Vedanshi Kapadia, and Emma Zhou. Fig.1: Levels of Parasocial Relationships (Giles & Maltby, 2006). April 18, 2022. Illustration. https://www.simplyneuroscience.org/post/getting-real-with-parasocial-relationships.

“Tell Me Pookie.” Instagram Reel video, 00:21. Instagram. Posted by Prayagxmishra, November 14, 2023. https://www.instagram.com/reel/CznVBClLUqN/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==.

Tolentino, Daysia. “‘Sassy Men’ Have Taken over TikTok — and They’re Trying to Help Combat Toxic Masculinity.” NBCNews. Accessed October 17, 2023. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sassy-man-apocalypse-toxic-masculinity-prayag-mishra-tiktok-rcna119789.

Music used in the background:

BoDleasons, “LoFi Chill (Medium version).” Downloaded from Pixaby. https://pixabay.com/music/beats-lofi-chill-medium-version-159456/