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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Staying connected through social media

Staying connected through social media

As becoming a social media influencer becomes more of a popular and sought-after job these days, more people both young and old are starting to feel actually connected to the people they follow online. These influencers can be on anything from YouTube, Instagram, or even being a podcast host. 

I never really got into YouTube or gaming when I was younger so I always questioned how people actually became so attached to online personalities. There’s no way someone can be that obsessed with someone online without actually ever meeting them, right? Popular personalities on the internet build rabid fan bases that will defend them till the end of the world. Just seeing the way fans go after people who even questioned their influence is astonishing. The person who called them out was usually immediately attacked and often forced to retract whatever they had said. 

My view on all this changed last year during the first Coronavirus lockdown. I decided to start listening to podcasts, an industry that has exploded in popularity the past couple of years. I checked out the popular satirical sports podcast Pardon My Take, hosted by Dan Katz and PFT Commenter. I immediately fell in love with it and became an avid listener three times a week. I also started to follow them more on Twitter, in which they are huge and combine for more than 2.5 million followers. The podcast became a part of my life and easily became my most consumed content on the internet. It makes my Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings a whole lot more enjoyable. I quickly became equipped with all their inside jokes, segments on the podcast and even their past work. I realized I had done exactly what I questioned others doing just months earlier. I felt like I knew them on a personal level.

I really noticed this when PFT’s dog, Leroy, who had been often mentioned on the show, died. I was saddened as if it were my own pet or a close friend who I saw often, except it was a stranger’s on the internet who I had never met before. I quickly saw why people get so attached to the people they follow online. 

These personalities serve as an escape from the real world. Many people who are miserable at their job every day or flip on the news every night just to see the same political drama consume online content to get away from their real-life issues. If for just a little bit of each day they can go on the internet and laugh, that goes a long way. 

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