You are the average of your closest five friends, so the saying goes.
This has got me thinking, because particularly during the lockdowns we spent a lot more time engaging online with celebrities than we did with our actual acquaintances and friends. There is no difference between the time we spend online ‘interacting’ with people we don’t know online, and with people we do (online or in person) so we’ll become ‘closer’, or more like to, the people we spend the most time with, whoever they are; all this to say, choose who you hang out with wisely!
As a thought experiment I’ve therefore put together my list of the five ‘famous’ people I feel the ‘average’ of.
Mikaela was for a long time head and shoulders above the rest of the women’s ski racing field. I watch her racing, and keep up with her on Instagram. She’s always honest about how she’s doing, both with her performance and her emotions, particularly so since her father died last year.
It’s not surprising, given the volume of content he puts out, that Ali should be one of the top five people I spend time engaging with. I mainly listen to his Deep Dive podcast and watch his YouTube videos, both of which are really interesting and useful. I like him because I feel he has a lot of the same concerns as me, and I admire that he’s just a normal, clever, interested, nerdy person who’s been unusually fearless in putting himself out there.
Thea is an editor at the Times Literary Supplement and used to co-host the TLS podcast, which I listen to every week. She always has something interesting and quirky to say, often about her dog or her Italian background. I can’t wait to read her debut novel Dandelions, which comes out on 7 September (and which I’ve already pre-ordered!)
Jamie is admittedly a bit ‘cringe’ (that Peter pan tattoo…), but you have to give it to him and his boundless enthusiasm. I listen to him mainly on the Private Parts podcast (very entertaining, quite interesting and also a good one for mental health discussions), and also enjoyed his run to the Strictly Come Dancing final (and of course I tuned into Made in Chelsea back in the day.)
It was tricky choosing this last spot, because I felt I had already finished my parasocial ‘inner circle’, but I have been listening to a lot of the Radio 1 breakfast show recently so, to make it up to five, it has to be Greg James.
Have a go yourself – who’s in your top five? Let me know in the comments below.