Sounds Fake But Okay

Ep 202: Parasocial Relationships and POVs

October 17, 2021 Sounds Fake But Okay
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 202: Parasocial Relationships and POVs
Show Notes Transcript

Hey what's up hello! This week we start by talking about POV videos and y/n fanfiction and end by talking about parasocial relationships. It's a meandering convo about how we interact online and how that translates into our relationships in person.

Episode Transcript: www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/parasocial-relationships-and-povs

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(00:00)

SARAH: Hey what’s up hello. Welcome to Sounds Fake But Okay, a podcast where an aro-ace girl (I’m Sarah. That’s me.)

KAYLA: … and a demisexual girl (that’s me, Kayla)

SARAH: talk about all things to do with love, relationships, sexuality, and pretty much anything else that we just don’t understand.

KAYLA: On today’s episode: POVs and Y/Ns. 

BOTH: Sounds fake, but okay.

(Intro song)

SARAH: Welcome back to the Pod! 

KAYLA: Mmm’adrid?

SARAH: M’anhattan.

KAYLA: Ohhh. Why are you better at my own thing than me?

SARAH: (laughs) I don’t know.

KAYLA: It’s really upsetting.

SARAH: It’s because I’m so good and talented and cool.

KAYLA: Oh! Mmm… Okay!

SARAH: Uh, do we have housekeeping? We have housekeeping, what kind of housekeeping?

KAYLA: Comic Con happened. It technically happened last episode too, but it hadn’t happened to us yet.

SARAH: True.

KAYLA: It happened and it was very good, we got to meet some lovely people

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: A shock to no one: Ace Dad is a lovely person and was so nice to us!

SARAH: What a delight! What a delightful human. And we also got to meet Kiara Valdez who was also a delight and we also got to meet our girl Michele from Geeks Out in the flesh. So...

KAYLA: True. It was very wild.

SARAH: So lots of exciting things.

KAYLA: We’ve never done an in-person thing before, or gotten to meet the people we know from the internet so it was very fun!

SARAH: Yeah! ...And I think that’s it. Is there anything else?

KAYLA: I can’t think of anything.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Ace Week sure is coming up!

SARAH: Oh heck.

KAYLA: Don’t really have any plans for it. But do we ever?

SARAH: If anyone has any ideas…(laughs)

KAYLA: I really think we need to stop doing holidays because we are so bad at big occasions, you know what I mean?

SARAH: Yeah...

KAYLA: We are so bad at it.

SARAH: We just need to quit (laughs) Delightful. Okay Kayla what are we talking about this week?

KAYLA: This week — I think this came out of another episode, yeah I don’t remember what we were talking about but it came out of some episode...

SARAH: It doesn’t matter.

KAYLA: It doesn’t matter, but this week we’re talking about the concept of like POV videos and y/n fanfiction which we should probably define first for the people who do not know.

SARAH: Yeah I think that’s step one (laughs)

KAYLA: Yeah. So POV videos...

SARAH: Well they’re not always videos sometimes it's just like a… an imagine this...

KAYLA: Yes, I guess I was thinking of it from the video standpoint.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: But that’s at least the angle I’ll be coming from it-

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: To it… from it. It’s kind of an offshoot of fanfiction I think, where a lot of times the videos are like… POV… um what's a good example, I don’t know, POV...

SARAH: “I take you to my favorite bookstore”

KAYLA: Yeah and then it's basically like, you as the camera are a person and then the person making it is another person so it looks like you’re going around with this person.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: And it's kind of like a spin on that, I think a lot of people call any little acting thing, like those acting things a POV. Like POV my soulmate's name appeared on my wrist or whatever, basically anything where the camera is the person and you are put into this scene with someone.

SARAH: It’s like second person where the camera is you.

KAYLA: Yes. Which is an offshoot of a lot of fanfiction, it's kinda the video format of a lot of fanfiction, especially y/n fanfiction.

SARAH: So Y slash N stands for Your Name and there’s a lot of that, it’s like self-insert fanfiction, right. So the main character in the fic is y/n and you’re supposed to pretend that that’s you although it's funny because a lot of times they’ll give kind of weirdly specific physical characteristics of y/n-

KAYLA: - and it’s like that’s not what I look like-

(5:00)

SARAH: - and it's like that’s clearly what the author looks like or wants to look like or something, but yeah it’s a self-insert sort of situation. People do it with fictional characters, people do it with real people which… I think is a slightly different situation… um.

KAYLA: Yeah our I think third episode ever was about fanfiction, just in general.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: And I do think we talked about that...

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Or wait, that was a separate episode about shipping real people.

SARAH: It doesn’t-

KAYLA: That was a whole separate episode.

SARAH: It doesn’t matter. 

KAYLA: It doesn’t like, but we’ve — what I’m meaning to say is that we’ve talked about these topics before, I think this is just a different manifestation of it.

SARAH: Right, so I guess we’re just going to come at these from an aspec perspective, because they’re… weird and interesting from any perspective I think, uh, but especially so when you’re looking at it through the aspec lens, so...

KAYLA: Yeah, I think what I remember from whatever episode we talked about it originally, what I found interesting was how often they have to do with romance, especially. Not so much sex I guess.

SARAH: Yeah. How would you do that with sex?

KAYLA: You would- I mean Tiktok would take down your video I’m sure...

SARAH: Well yeah.

KAYLA: I’m sure there’s a category of porn for that. There’s a category for everything. 

SARAH: Yeah…

KAYLA: But the ones that come across my for you page, it’s mostly young women making POVs about like soulmate scenarios and a lot of them are I think classic fanfiction tropes-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: -that are in no way new or specific to Tiktok or video formats, that are like POV Your Soulmate Shows Up on Your Wrist and You Have to Find Them. Or you have to answer questions and for every question you get right you get a letter of your soulmate's name. Or like...

SARAH: Like the when you meet your soulmate for the first time- like previously the world was in black and white and now its in color like that whole thing-

KAYLA: Yes. There’s one that I was seeing a lot a while ago that was like girls can’t talk until they get kissed by their soulmate-

SARAH: Oh my god, ew.

KAYLA: - kind of a Little Mermaid situation. I don’t know.

SARAH: I hate that.

KAYLA: I just think it’s so interesting especially that this seems to be particularly popular with young people...

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: It’s just such an interesting way of… it feels like watching young people figure things out. I feel like I’m on the outside watching people who are just becoming of-age starting to date and have those feelings or whatever. And it feels like they’re trying to work through this, through these tropes or these models of dating that society teaches us like these scripts and it’s kinda like they’re working through that in real-time.

SARAH: Yeah it's almost like we’re watching a physical manifestation of a daydream. Does that make sense?

KAYLA: Yeah, yes.

SARAH: Like if you’re daydreaming about a relationship, it’s just people making it concrete and making it content.

KAYLA: Yes, so I was looking this up earlier and I found this article about this one particular boy on Tiktok who does boyfriend POVs like he’s always pretending to be your boyfriend. Like POV I just got my license and I’m on my way to pick you up to drive you to the beach. And he’s in the driver's seat and the camera is in the passenger seat so you are the girlfriend and he’s whatever.

SARAH: Mhm.
KAYLA: And it's interesting so the kid is Harvey Petito is the one that- and it's- this kid isn’t the only one doing it, especially on the straight side of Tiktoks there’s a lot of cringey POVs.

SARAH: Mhm. Oh yeah.

KAYLA: For a while, it was guys pretending to get arrested and then they would like look at the camera and it was supposed to be their girlfriend or whatever like “it’s okay baby” or whatever. The straight side of TikTok especially has a lot of cringey versions of this. 

SARAH: Scares me, I’m afraid. 

KAYLA: Or there was one really bad one where it was like the guy in the driver's seat of the car and the camera, like you, were supposed to be his girl best friend or whatever and you’re like “oh can you drive me to my boyfriend’s house?” and he, very cringely is like “oh you simp” and does the weird lick lipping thing that like or- lip lick thing- whatever that weird people do-

SARAH: That’s supposed to be sexy. 

(10:00)

KAYLA: Yeah. And then he like goes to playfully push her and he flinches and it's like “oh is he hitting you?” and he gets so red and oh my god it's so cringey. Anyway, there’s a lot going on. This kid- I don’t know this kid, he might not be cringey, but I’m assuming he’s on the straight side of Tiktok because I haven’t seen him. So what’s interesting to me is that the majority of the guy's audience is teenage girls, 90% of his audience is teenage girls. And he said “at this point every time a girl between 13 and 15 sees me out in public she knows me from Tiktok”

SARAH: Hmm.

KAYLA: So the article- so the article is on Australia’s version of ABC, it’s called...

SARAH: How- how old is this kid?

KAYLA: He’s 16 in the time- in 2020, at the time this was written. So it’s called On Tiktok: Point of View or POV Video, See Social Media Stars Pretending To Be Your Kids Boyfriend if you want to find this article. Um… it’s really interesting because his mom sometimes helps him...

SARAH: (chuckle)

KAYLA: ...film and is like “oh I think it's popular because he’s so handsome!”

(laughing)

KAYLA: Which is funny. If I was this kid's mom I think I’d be incredibly uncomfortable helping him film these.

SARAH: I mean I guess if it's just innocent like...
KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: POV we’re going to the mall together! You know.

KAYLA: And he does say in his article that he tries to keep his stuff as clean as possible because he knows his audience is young. He doesn’t swear a ton, he doesn’t make it he doesn’t try at least he’s saying, to make it overtly sexual or anything.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: The article kinda talks about how videos like this have been incredibly popular for people, you know, not just men doing it, but women doing it and everything, and then the article talks about how it places them in the long line of teenage heartthrobs or like boy band. I guess this professor Catherine Driscoll has called it the Non-threatening Boy. This kind of idea of a boy band situation. It says “but Tiktok offers a closeness boy band fans rarely have. Viewers can comment directly on the clips of the app’s content makers and they can even reply” and it you know makes them closer I guess.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: And kind of what you were saying about the daydream, this professor said “a bit of fantasy life is healthy. It’s about treading that fine line between when it starts taking over your real-life and relationships. On social media it’s a bit different because you can have this illusion of direct content- direct contact.”

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: And then it goes on to take on more nonromantic things like acting. Apparently, there’s this one girl who does horror ones. And at one point they were so convincing people literally thought her parents murdered people. Because it was like POV my parents murdered somebody and I have to hide the body. And people thought it was real.

SARAH: Oh my god. I’ve- I’ve definitely seen some acting ones where like, like it’s “you read the blue lines” and they have their other lines and then it's like an acting thing. I’ve seen those.

KAYLA: Yeah. That’s also very… There’s a couple people I follow who are genuine actors who do a lot of that stuff.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: They’re typically a bit older than like 16 but-

SARAH: Right.

KAYLA: It’s interesting to me because they do talk about this girl that does acting and stuff that is more acting based than more romanced based, but when I was looking this up it seemed like most of it was like… around this kind of romance thing and that seems like what these articles and people are most interested in. Which doesn’t surprise me, but I think it's pretty telling.

SARAH: Yeah. For me as an aroace person. I find all of that stuff soo cringey, like regardless of what it is. Like I know you were talking about stuff being extra cringey, but to me - I mean, sure some of it may be more cringey than others - but to me my brain can’t really wrap my head around it. There was, years and years ago, a… BTS were forced to do (laughs) a thing that was sort of like that, and they hate it now and they don’t ever want to look at it again. But those videos exist and I literally can’t watch- like any time they have ever come anywhere near me, I have had to be like “I am leaving” I can’t do this, it makes me so uncomfortable.
KAYLA: I think it’s-

SARAH: I don’t know what it is.

(15:00)

KAYLA: I think it's especially uncomfortable with real people too.

SARAH: Yeah that’s definitely very true.

KAYLA: Because then it’s like- cause to me, I don’t know. The POVs that are more acting-based I find quite entertaining at times. Those I don’t have an issue with. The dating ones I don’t often come across on my for you page, at least. Which I guess makes sense because my for you page is quite gay, and I don’t see gay people— Like there are a lot of parodies people do-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: - which is very funny but I don’t see a lot of queer people genuinely-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: - making these types of videos. But I don’t know, I just- yeah- maybe it is just a younger person thing.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: Maybe I would’ve been… I don’t know, it’s hard to wrap my head around having that kind of relationship with someone on social media? You know what I mean?

SARAH: Yeah it's like taking parasocial relationships to an entirely different level.

KAYLA: Yeah, which I guess...

SARAH: Where the person is intentionally...
KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: Parasocially parasocial.

KAYLA: This wasn’t quite there yet when we were that age I guess.

SARAH: Right.

KAYLA: I guess fanfiction was, but I wasn’t... super into fanfiction at like 13? I’m just...

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: I’m trying to imagine the appeal? 

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: Without like knocking it.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Because I don’t wanna be like “oh these teenagers are stupid for liking this” because I did say I do find it interesting, and I think it’s a healthy way of working a lot of things out and figuring things out.

SARAH: Yeah, part of me is like “how much of this do I not understand because I’m not a teenager, and how much of this do I not understand because I’m aroace, and how much of this I do not understand because of a combination of the two as in I was an aroace teenager” you know?

KAYLA: Yeah, I have to imagine it was a mix of both.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Because like I don’t… I hate when people knock on the things that young people like...

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: By saying like even with boy bands when people are like “oh that’s just what teenage girls like, it's not legitimate music” because I don’t think its fair, so I don’t wanna do that.

SARAH: Yeah.
KAYLA: But, you know, it is a very young person specific thing. I don’t see a lot of older people engaging with this kind of content.

SARAH: Right, and I mean, I think…. A lot of my issues with y/n self insert fanfiction is oftentimes it's with real people and that makes me uncomfortable. I’ve said this before on the pod, just how I don’t feel comfortable with real people fiction.

KAYLA: yeah.

SARAH: I’ve gotten to the point where I’m okay with it, where it's a complete alternate universe where it's basically like, you’re creating these characters that are based on familiar figures, but they’re not meant to be those people. I’ve come to terms with that, but if it’s actual self insert, I’m really uncomfortable with that. But with this the creator gave you permission to do this, so it's not like there’s a weird consent issue or anything. So it’s not like morally there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just still—  I don’t quite get it, I don’t get it.

KAYLA: Yeah I just also think about like this kid in this article didn’t seem too bothered by it, but I just have to imagine, what an interesting life this kid must lead, because when these young women see him in public and are like “oh I know you from Tiktok” you know what content they’re watching from you, like you know.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: It’s like people who put out a ton of thirst traps or even people who do like… what’s it called? Only Fans or something. For me I would be incredibly uncomfortable with that because I know what you’ve seen me do, and that’s embarrassing for me because of who I am, not because it’s a shameful or that all people have that embarrassment.

SARAH: Right.

KAYLA: But it's so interesting to be like, you know what content those people are engaging with, and you kind of know what kind of parasocial relationship you’ve built with them.

(20:00)

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: I just feel like it must be very hard to wrap the mind around.

SARAH: To the kids at home who might not know: parasocial relationships like refer to-

KAYLA: -are what you have with us!

SARAH: Yes! No, that's accurate.
KAYLA: No that’s true!

SARAH: Okay, a parasocial interaction recu- refers to a type of psychological relationship experienced by an audience in their mediated interactions with performers in the mass media, particularly television or online, viewers or listeners consider these media personalities as friends despite having no or limited interaction with them. So the relationship you might have with us, is a parasocial relationship, unless you know us in real life-

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: - in which case (laughs) this isn’t about you.

KAYLA: It’s just a social relationship. Yeah, it’s… in like as someone who has a very small amount of people who have a parasocial relationship with me… I on a very very small scale understand how very bizarre that can feel sometimes-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: - or slightly dysphoric I guess?

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: And then to think about someone on a huge scale, with millions of parasocial relationships of a very romantic nature-

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: With people that are quite a bit younger than you-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: - I kind of feel that would be a weird thing to reckon with as a person on the other side of those parasocial relationships-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: -unless you kind of don’t think about it which is, I think what most people in those kinds of positions do, is they probably don’t think about it very often, because if you think about it too much you would probably get weirded out.

SARAH: This is really interesting because just yesterday I was just watching this youtube video, you know those kinds of videos— Jubilee does them — this isn’t a Jubilee video, but it's a kind of similar concept where its like odd one out, where it’s like we have 8 fans of this person and one fake fan and they have to figure out who the fake fan is. They did one of those for the Kpop Idol Key from SHINee and there were 5 people and 4 of them were actual fans and the 5th was him, and they were in like a chatroom so they didn’t know it was him, and... 
KAYLA: Weird.

SARAH: And it was so interesting watching him interact with them like trying to be one of them. Because like there were things that he- that they said at certain times that he- he has a very good attitude about it all and he just found it very funny, but it was so interesting watching him interface with the things that stans say to each other when they don’t think they’re in the presence of the person that they stan. You know what I mean?

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: In the end they were all actually there in person, and at the end they revealed whatever and all of them were like “HOLY FUCK WHAT THE SHIT”

KAYLA: (laughs)

SARAH: (laughs) And the me in me was like “guys stop freaking out he’s a human person don’t treat him like he’s some sort of god” but um, also like, it was super interesting to watch him react to those interactions and then also after they realized it was him, some of them were like “why did I say that… what did I do…”

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: I think it’s just- it’s a really- I don’t know where I was going with this, it’s relevant, but I don’t know where it's going.

KAYLA: It is relevant. And what’s interesting about what you said is how awkward it is watching them like not treat him like a human person because I think that’s the weird thing too, like, these- anyone with enough of a following or celebrity does slowly become, in the eyes of the audience, less a human and more an object or just a means of entertainment, which I do think is why there is such a comfort level with fanfiction involving real celebrities or things like this, the kid doing POVs. You kind of forget he’s a real person, it’s like “oh he’s the person from the videos” and you don’t think about what they’re eating for breakfast or what they’re doing during their day. Which makes them a lot easier to objectify-

SARAH: Yeah

(25:00)

KAYLA: -I suppose, and makes things like POV’s and y/ns more believable I guess because in your mind they aren’t- like in your mind Harry Styles isn’t a real person, he’s the little singing man who goes on tour, but you don’t think about what his actual day-to-day is.

SARAH: And I think with this instance with Key, you know, he debuted 13 years ago, so he’s- he’s been doing this, he’s been an idol he’s been a K-Idol so when the girl next him just screamed and ran away he just laughed, like he’s used to that, but um, I don’t know, I- I wonder how this kind of stuff impacts how we act with not famous people, or like not these types of p- Cause I don’t know I’m the type of person where if I- you know, I exist in stan culture. I get it. I really do get it, where it’s like it’s this person you’re a big fan of that you have a parasocial relationship with - a lot of times on stan Twitter people will joke like “oh my god they need to stop looking at me so parasocially” which is very funny.

(laughing)

SARAH: But like I get it, but there’s also another part of me that’s like, you have to act as normal as possible if you’re actually in there in person with them and to me that’s priority to me, like not treating them like a god, or not treating them as not something totally different and I wonder if… I don’t really know, I don’t really know, it just makes me think of these kids who might be watching these POV videos or, you know, reading y/n fics or whatever do they have the same, obviously they’re not a monolith, do they have the same perspective as me that’s like don’t freak out in front of them, just have a normal interaction with them, or does watching those videos change how they interact with people? Does that make sense?

KAYLA: It does. Well I think it’s especially interesting like thinking about people that are famous because of social media-

SARAH: Yeah.
KAYLA: -or because they are more quote un quote “normal”, because even like this article said, these Tiktok stars are much more attainable because you can comment on their stuff and they’ll comment back. That’s like the whole appeal of a social media star.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Is that they are just like you. So it makes me wonder, in theory it would make people more chill, but in practice we know it doesn’t because we’ve all see videos of VidCon-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: -of people swarming David Dobrik or whatever. 

SARAH: Yeah

KAYLA: so in practice we know that it doesn’t actually work, but you think that it would because the whole point of these people is that they are you, they’re just like better.

SARAH: I think that maybe it almost makes it worse, because we feel like we know them so closely and intimately because of this interaction we have with them on social media, but we recognize that it’s a parasocial relationship so we don’t necessarily expect to have that interaction, so if we actually get that interaction I think people’s brains just shut down.

KAYLA: Yeah I mean, something that I’ve seen like social media people talk about before. I’ve seen Sarah Schauer who was like a Vine personality and now does TikTok and stuff-

SARAH: Is that what she is? I follow her on Twitter, but I have no idea where she came from.

KAYLA: They were…  I’m trying to remember what their main Vine was, but yeah they were on Vine, but now they’re on Tiktok and stuff. They were kind of- they recently went through a break up-

SARAH: Oh yeah.

KAYLA: -and they were talking about how people just say anything to them because they think that they know them. And a couple- so some girls added them to their Instagram group chat and were just shittalking their Ex like they knew them.

SARAH: Hm.

KAYLA: And it's a very bizarre thing about parasocial relationships, because they watch or listen to you so often and do know a lot about your life, feel like they do know you very well and feel like they could say anything, ‘cause oh we’re friends, I listen to you all the time!

SARAH: Yeah.
KAYLA: So it makes those interactions if you do meet in person, I think, even weirder because this person is like “oh well we’re best friends so I can scream at you and it's fine!”

(30:00)

SARAH: Right and it's also like, it's easy to forget in these parasocial relationships, what they give to you that makes you feel like you’re their friend is filtered.

KAYLA: Mhm.

SARAH: You’re not getting raw unfiltered this-is-what-you-get-if-you-spend-24-hours-with-them. You know what I mean?

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: And I think people often forget that they are like, they’re giving you the best version of themselves.

KAYLA: Mhm.

SARAH: Or even if they’re being honest about not giving you the best version of themselves, that’s the exception rather than the rule. You know what I mean?

KAYLA: And they’re still choosing what...

SARAH: They’re still choosing to share that with you.

KAYLA: I think it's interesting to think about how it reflects back on how people are interacting with each other in like normal life?

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: Cause like I said if kids are using these POVs to kind of learn dating tropes, or dating scripts, they’re learning “oh this is what a boyfriend is supposed to do and look like” it’s- you know- It can in many ways be harmful if the people who are making those POVs are putting out not healthy content or a not healthy trope of dating. Or if it isn’t diverse, like I said queer people aren’t typically making these so you’re only getting the straight view.

SARAH: Yeah.
KAYLA: So it’s kind of reinforcing the social scripts we already have for these scenarios and in a lot of cases — I’m not saying everyone doing these are doing that, I’m sure there are some lovely people doing ones that are more diverse and everything — 

SARAH: Mm.

KAYLA: But on the whole I think that could be a problem with it.

SARAH: I mean they are on a very very basic level, the romanticisation of certain things. Like that’s what they’re meant to be right? (laughs)

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: And sometimes romanticising certain types of interactions, or certain ways of being - I don’t know- can be quite problematic so if those are being reinforced through these things that are like obviously romanticizations, but they don’t ask that you’re like “ah yes this is obviously a romanticization” they ask that you buy into it. Like that’s the whole schtick here. 

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: So if you are buying into it, that’s fine because that’s (laughs) literally what the point is, but its helpful to be aware of the world around you as you’re doing that. And when you’re a teenager who is like “Oh I really like these POV videos'' that's not really what your brain is thinking of.

KAYLA: Right and I think because social media and everything have grown so quickly there isn’t a lot of media literacy that’s taught.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: To teens or adults. So it’s kind of like anyone who is watching these videos might not have that critical eye to be like “oh maybe this isn’t the best or maybe it's putting forward a weird kind of message” and some people might naturally have that, and it's not like they’re better or anything, it's just that this isn’t something that’s widely taught, like how to look at media critically and think about what it's telling you or the messages its putting out and so...

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: You know, if you’re someone who has never dated before and you’re just coming to the age, or the time of your life where that’s something you’re exploring and this is the only- this is a huge part of the representations you see. Like oh it’s watching, you know, whatever TV shows you’re watching, and it's watching this person on Tiktok and this is how relationships must work.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: And if the people you’re watching aren’t setting a good example you might have a skewed view of how relationships are supposed to look.

(35:00)

SARAH: That especially makes me think of the whole like, “bad boy” trope. I don’t think the bad boy trope is inherently a bad thing, but I do think that you know there’s a difference between someone being like “oh haha I’m a bad boy” and, I don’t know, actual toxic relationships and actual abuse. I don’t- I don’t think that we should stop necessarily showing the whole “bad boy” thing “because it could lead to unhealthy~” that’s not my call, but when the line gets blurred it can get difficult to be like okay what's just for fun and what's just harmless and at what point does it become dangerous. And no one knows the answer to that, I don’t know the answer to that.

KAYLA: Yeah I think it's the same with any kind of media representation. Of if this the only see- the only thing you’re seeing put into the world then why would you think anything different?

SARAH: Mm.

KAYLA: Like when we grow up part of like how we think how relationships work is watching our parents or watching close family members and as you get older you see more examples and you see more and more ways people interact and how relationships form. But it's not something that is typically taught. 

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: No one is sitting you down and saying this is exactly how a relationship is going to go, of any kind. And so-

SARAH: Or if they do its a very idealized, it’s like-

KAYLA: Sure

SARAH: “A man should take care of a woman” like oh fuck off.

KAYLA: Right. Yeah so it’s kind of like, people are left with things like sex education or even how friendships are supposed to healthily look or romantic relationships. You’re just kind of left to watch and learn, and so, I mean, it can, like any other representation, when it's wrong it's wrong and it can be harmful.

SARAH: Yeah and like the thing I keep coming back to on the whole “bad boy” thing or whatever is I don’t have an issue with the whole thing of “oh haha I’m attracted to this person who gets into trouble” but if that is all you’re seeing, as you said… and if you are only seeing certain tropes because that’s what's popular among the POV community online… I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s difficult. It’s complicated.

KAYLA: Yeah and that gets into different things like if we’re romanticizing abuse or romanticising different parts of a relationship that people come to see as normal not knowing that it might not be because it all they see because they don’t realize that in the real world it might not be that way all the time or it shouldn’t be then.

SARAH: Yeah. (sigh) it’s weird. I’ve always- I mean I’ve always just been uncomfortable with the whole POV y/n thing even back in the day when YouTubers I watched were like “haha we’re gonna do a video where we read fanfiction about ourselves” I could never watch those videos.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: Like it could be someone who I watched every single one of their videos immediately, but if they released a video like that I would not touch it with a ten-foot pole. Because I was just so uncomfortable. Even though they were voluntarily interacting with it, you know? And often-

KAYLA: Well I think-

SARAH: And often doing it in a making fun of it sort of way, but like… I don’t know.

KAYLA: I think I remember Jenna and Julien doing a video like that. And some of it was fanfiction of people wrote about them like having sex-

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: -and its so bizarre! Like these are people you’ve never met and they have their own relationship and you’re sort of interesting yourself into it. It’s so bizarre.

SARAH: Yeah (sigh). It’s weird. TL:DR I don’t get it and it’s probably mostly because I’m aroace, and I mean some of it I do think is a bridge too far, but not all of it.

KAYLA: No and I don’t wanna say it, like I said, I don’t wanna say that it’s all bad and that it’s stupid that people like it.

SARAH: Mhm.

KAYLA: I think like anything it can have negative and positive, you know, effects because of it. But...

SARAH: Yeah I just don’t get it.

KAYLA: It’s a very interesting phenomenon.

SARAH: Yeah. It’s something that I will probably never wrap my head around just by my virtue of my being aroace.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: But so it is, so it is. Do you have anything else to add?

KAYLA: Not really.

SARAH: Okay! Kayla, what is our poll for this week?

KAYLA: Hmm. Maybe like, do you like watching or reading POV slash y/n content?

SARAH: Mhm. Or even just like… do you get it? (laughs) ‘Cause I don’t get it. Cause I feel like a lot of our listeners are gonna be like “no I have no interest in this” but maybe we’ll be surprised.

(40:00)

KAYLA: I don’t think that that’s true.

SARAH: Maybe we’ll be surprised. I don’t know, yeah, that’s fair. Yeah, um, yeah. It’s very interesting, and if you do like it, tell us why. We’re very open-minded curious about the whole concept. If you’re writing self-insert fanfiction about a real person, uh I have questions. 

KAYLA: (laughs)

SARAH: And I don’t think you’re gonna like them. (laughs)

KAYLA: Okay! Alright!

SARAH: But, you know, okay. Kayla, what's your beef and your juice this week?

KAYLA: Uhhhh. My beef is that I keep having headaches and that’s not fun, it doesn’t feel good. Wish that would stop. My juice isssss…. I don’t know, I got a treadmill? And so I’ve been walking while I work, because I have a standing desk and then I have a little treadmill that goes under it and I’m just a little hamster.

SARAH: Yep.

KAYLA: It’s kind of weird to get used to, it’s kind of odd, but I think it's good.

SARAH: That’s good. My beef is that I have felt like garbage, for coming on a week now. I have felt like I have been hit by a truck every day. I wake up in the morning at like 6:30-

KAYLA: Feeling like P. Diddy.

SARAH: Feeling like P. Diddy, if P. Diddy had been hit by a truck. And then I have to take an Ibuprofen before I can sleep again. I don’t know what's wrong with me, but I’ve been hit by- I’m getting repeatedly hit by a truck. So that’s been bad.

KAYLA: That’s fun!

SARAH: My juice issssss… my sister got me a blanket that is shaped like and looks like a tortilla.

KAYLA: Oh those are so good.

SARAH: Also my roommate got me a BT21 Shooky stamp, um Kyla told me about her experience in the Kpop store trying to remember what my BTS bias was-

KAYLA: Oh yes.

SARAH: - and she couldn’t remember so she texted Kayla but Kayla didn’t remember-

KAYLA: And then I had to text Padya-

SARAH: So Kayla had to text Padya, and apparently Kyla also texted my mom, but she took too long to answer-

KAYLA: Yes, but your mom did not answer.

SARAH: (laughs) and I was just so amused by this turn of events.

KAYLA: I just couldn’t remember and I didn’t want to guess wrong.

SARAH: But I have a little tiny Shooky stamp that I can stamp everything with. I’m gonna stamp something right now. Oh yeah it’s been stamped!

KAYLA: You still don’t have your gift from me.

SARAH: I know.

KAYLA: But is gonna be good when you get it!

SARAH: I already forgot what it was even though you literally told me!

KAYLA: You did not!

SARAH: Give me a minute. Give me a minute.

KAYLA: You don’t have to remember it. I think it’s very funny that you forgot. Well it’ll just be exciting all over again.

SARAH: I remember that you told me… Oh I remember! Okay.

KAYLA: Oh my god.

SARAH: I remember now. That’s that. You can tell us about your beef, your juice, your parasocial relationship you have with us on social media @soundsfakepod. We also have a Patreon if you wanna give us your money, we won’t say no! patreon.com/soundsfakepod. Our $5 patrons who we are promoting this week are: Emily M., Elizabeth Wheeler, Fffffffinasfffssss, Melissa Kaufman, and Byron Rusnak.

KAYLA: Wow.

SARAH: Listen! I just like to give  Fffffffinasfffssss all of the emphasis that they deserve.

KAYLA: Yeah, $5 dollars worth.

SARAH: (laughs) Our $10 patrons that are promoting something this week are: Arcnes who would like to promote the Trevor Project, Benjamin Ybarra who’d like to promote Tabletop games, and Anonymous who’d like to promote (singing) spooky Halloween~. Our other $10 patrons are: My Aunt Jeannie, Cass,Doug Rice, H. Valdís, Barefoot Backpacker, The Steve, Ari K., Mattie, Derek and Carissa, Khadir, Potater, Changeling MX, DAVID JAY, The Stubby Tech, Simona Sajmon, Rosie Costello, Hector Murillo, Jay, and David Nurse. Our $15 patrons are: Nathaniel White, NathanielJWhiteDesigns.com, my mom Julie who’d like to promote Free Mom Hugs and the fact that she slept in her bed in her bedroom last night, all the way upstairs!

(45:00)

KAYLA: She did it!

SARAH: Very exciting. Sara Jones who is @eternalloli everywhere, Martin Chiesel who’d like to promote his podcast, Everyone’s Special and No One Is, Leila who’d like to promote “Love is love” also applying to aro people, Shrubbery who’d like to promote The Planet Earth, Sherronda J Brown, Maggie Capalbo who’d like to promote their dogs Minnie, Leia, and Loki, Andrew Hillum who’d like to promote The Invisible Spectrum Podcast, Click4Caroline who’d like to promote uhhhhhh Dear Luke, Love, Me, and Dragonfly who’d like to promote the Jin random photocard that I got pulled from the album that I bought at the Kpop store in New York which is now my most prized position. Our $20 patrons are: Sarah T who’d like to promote Long walks outside and HomHomofSpades who’d like to promote Getting enough vitamin D and also the fact that it has cooled down in LA, and hoo, I don’t think it’ll last but boy howdy is it delightful.

KAYLA: Must be nice!

SARAH: Oh my other beef is that I’m banned from leaving my apartment for all day today because they’re re-asphalting the road.

KAYLA: Were you gonna go somewhere?

SARAH: No but we don’t have access to our garage, so if I wanted to-

KAYLA: Well I hope you don’t have an emergency! (laughs)

SARAH: -I couldn’t (laughs)

KAYLA: Today my juice is that Dean- today someone at Dean’s work someone was like “hey I have two random tickets to this silent auction gala thing if anyone wants to go and get free food and drinks and dress up” and we were like “I guess?” So later today we’re just going to this rich person event and are just gonna take their food and walk around!

SARAH: Okay!

KAYLA: So.

SARAH: Thanks for listening (laughs) tune in next Sunday for more of us in your ears!

KAYLA: And until then take good care of your cows.

(46:47)