Introduction: Mediated Social Connections: Place, Imagination and Togetherness
This chapter explores how ideas regarding familiar strangers advanced to consider parasocial interaction and imaginary social relationships as these ideas advanced to consider mediated social connections in the age of digital media. The chapter frames the discussion within three concepts: place, imagination and sociality. Place refers to the portable nature of digital media. Imagination refers to changes in the ways the inner world extends to objective reality and sociality refers to the idea that our mediated social world is made up of networks of individuals that are formed by social media platforms. These three concepts provide the basis for understanding how we traverse the inner world of the imagination to consider its connection to the outer world of objective reality.