- Gabriel and colleagues (2016) describe social surrogates – relationships we have with non-human beings that help fulfill our social needs. They specifically outline three: (1) social worlds, (2) reminders of others, and (3) parasocial relationships. Can you think of other examples from your own life that might qualify as social surrogates?
- Gabriel and colleagues (2016) note that one reason we immerse ourselves in social worlds is that it helps us develop social skills. Why do you think we willingly seek out this extra practice? Why is it important that we are so good at social skills?
- The authors argue that we find joy in engaging in “social worlds” through things like movies, books, and shows. However, many of the worlds we choose to engage in for entertainment are not necessarily better than the real world. Many narratives take place in dystopian societies (i.e., Hunger Games, Black Mirror), during horrific periods of history (i.e., the Holocaust, slavery), or simply in a mundane and unexciting setting (i.e., The Office). Why might we choose to escape to these worlds?
- Consider the impact of “reminders of others” that the chapter discussed. How can this knowledge be used in situations where people are socially isolated from close others? Think, for example, how reminders of others do/can play a role in things like study abroad trips, long-distance relationships, prison sentences, etc.
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