Twitch Streamer Brian David Gilbert Is My Bestfriend

Well, really he’s not but-

Graphic Created by Emily Elecko 2022

How much do you know about your favourite celebrities’ personal lives? Their birthdays? Their favourite food? What about when their last vacation was? Or what they did last week?

Social media has made it easier than ever to feel engaged with people’s personal lives, even if you don’t know the people personally. Over the pandemic we’ve seen a heightened rise in unhealthy parasocial relationships. 

A What?

Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships where one party is unaware of the other, while the other party has assumed companionship with them. There’s lots of different places where these parasocial relationships grow. In elementary schools, students usually have a skewed idea of their closeness with their teachers. They might feel a close friendship where there isn’t one. There are people who believe they have familiarity with the players on their favourite teams. In the past there’s even been research done on people who develop parasocial relationships with fictional characters in media.

It’s a term that can encompass a lot of different interactions – but especially lately there has been an increase in assumed familiarity between viewers and streamers. The pandemic saw an influx in Twitch usage, both on the side of people streaming, and watching. Idle hours spent at home with little opportunity to interact with others made streams an ideal way to socialize from the safety of your home. 

Why Care?

There’s been a lot of questions on whether or not parasocial relationships are healthy or not. On one hand, they are proven that they can be an inspiration of self efficacy. Watching someone you feel closely to do the things you want to be able to do can improve confidence and speed the learning process. Like all relationships, parasocial relationships can become unhealthy. As this phenomenon becomes more commonplace, there have been multiple reports of parasocial relationships getting out of hand. People who feel a negative visceral reaction when the point of their attraction or connection displays affection for someone else. People have gone as far as to make death threats and harass the icon of their obsession. 

As a creator it’s important to have an understanding on what your boundaries are and how to set them. There’s nothing inherently wrong or harmful with calling your audience “friends” or “besties”, and it’s important you know how to put your foot down when someone takes those terms too far. As someone ingesting that content, it’s important to understand the divide between you and the influencers you interact with. Not every one of them is as open to friendship as you are, and some might have vastly different opinions on your closeness to them.

Are there any streamers or influencers that you enjoy that you feel close to? Perhaps you stream yourself and have someone that feels this way towards you. What are some of the boundaries you have or plan to set up to prevent an unhealthy parasocial relationship?

Finding Personal Branding with Simple Exercises

Many streamers are recognizable by their branding. The cool flashy space motifs of OnstaMonsta. The dim neon glow of Takahata’s Weary 101. The colourful eccentricity of Brian David Gilbert. Sometimes, before we meet the person, we meet the branding. This is extremely important as a streamer, as more often than not, people will see your branding before they see your streams.

So how do we find our social media brand? How do we find what makes us, us? The complexity of personalities makes it impossible to find one perfect label for ourselves. If anything, limiting ourselves to a one word description would be harmful over all. Instead we can do our best to understand the things we like and why we like them. When we can pin point what drives us, we can figure out the best words and thematic expressions to describe ourselves to others. We can use these ideas as a jumping point of what our brand could be.


We all have a personal set of values. They are the concepts and beliefs that motivate and guide us. When we identify our values, it becomes easier to recognize what makes us happy and why they do. Living by our personal values allows us to avoid making decisions that would cause us emotional distress. Someone who values creativity might spend more time engaging in their artistic hobbies. Someone who values adventure might put priority on travel and exploring new spaces. Values change and shift over time, and sometimes you might find that things you valued greatly when you were younger, aren’t as important to you as an adult. Give yourself space to grow and be yourself. Below is an exercise on exploring what values you might have!

Visuals created by Emily 2022


It can be difficult to capture the essence of yourself with words alone. Humans are emotional creatures, and it can be easier to explain certain aspects of our feelings with visuals instead of words. When you’ve compiled the visuals, you can get a better sense of the ‘bigger picture’ of you. After you’ve put together some pictures, take some time to write down descriptive words that jump out to you. Are your pictures mostly warm coloured? Do they have sharp angles? Are they Cool? Cute? Minimalistic? Eccentric? These are all things you could incorporate into your potential branding!

Visuals created by Emily 2022


People are the sum of their experiences. We couldn’t be who we are today without key people, content, and moments in our lives. Think about the shows you loved growing up! Those helped shape you into who you are today. Even the content you love right now contributes to your personality, and how you portray yourself to the public. There are many things you can attribute to your influences. Looking back on these things can help spark inspiration! Use this inspiration to help you find different motifs and themes to incorporate into your personal brand.

Visuals created by Emily 2022

These steps won’t complete a brand strategy for you, but it will help you gain insight on what you lean towards. Stray away from gimmicks and embrace every facet you find. Using a mix of broad and precise “strokes” in the establishment of your personal brand will allow room for future growth. Be true to yourself, and success is bound to follow.

After doing these exercises, what words would you use to describe your brand? Share with your friends, and ask how they would describe themselves!

3 Ways to End the Social Media “Comparison Game”

In the realm of streaming, it’s difficult not to compare ourselves to our content creator peers- especially if they started their journey around the same time as us. Today, 1 in 8 Canadian users report feeling depressed, anxious, and envious when engaging with social media. When our worth as content creators is often judged by how many likes, comments, and subscribes we gain, it’s easy to see where that depression and anxiety comes from.

How are we supposed to live, laugh, love in this kind of environment? Making new content can be so difficult when all you can think of is how you compare to bigger streamers in the scene. What can we do as small streamers to encourage ourselves and others to keep trying?

One of the first steps we can take is changing our narrative on which parts of our growth matters. Right now, a majority of the focus is surrounding our streaming metrics and how they compare to other’s metrics. Growth isn’t only measured by a comparison in numbers though. We can gauge our progression differently, and avoid the hamster wheel of burnout. When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we have the space to indulge in our own successes and encourage our own improvement.

Have you learned any new skills?

Numbers are not everything! We can measure our growth in our mastery of skills. Did you learn how to use a new program? Did you figure out a way to streamline your setup? Even the smallest of improvements is still worthy of praise and recognition.

Have you learnt anything about yourself? Have you improved yourself?

Being an independently driven content creator puts a lot of importance on knowing yourself and your brand. As you journey through your streaming experience, you’re bound to find the intricacies about yourself. Learning those boundaries, likes, and dislikes will help you better define your brand and your life.

Through gratification!

One way we can track our advancement is through the time we spent enjoying our journey. Was there a stream where you had a blast? Did you meet any new friends? Those moments of happiness count as success. Time spent having fun is time well spent, and regardless of whether it has improved your numbers, those instances improved your life.

What can we do to help?

Your metrics as a streamer will always fluctuate. Relying on those numbers for your personal validation is unreliable and unhealthy. Invest in yourself and your growth. Taking the time to create measurable goals can greatly reduce the amount of demoralization you encounter. Here are some examples of goals you can use in the future:

  • Plan & execute an event
  • Start & finish a project
  • Update branding/assets
  • Reach out to new people
  • Create & stick to a content creation schedule

Have you ever implemented any of these into your everyday life? What other kind of goals can you think of to help keep yourself motivated?