Spotify as a Language: Virtual Interaction in the Age of Quarantine

Presentation author(s)

Adrian Hughes ’21, Herndon, Virginia

Major: Philosophy, Creative Writing


I once used the popular music streaming app Spotify to listen to songs I like and find new music, but now I use it for much more than that. This project explores how Spotify can serve as a communication platform, exchanging songs and playlists instead of words or images. Complicated romances and drama have unfolded only on Spotify between myself and a few other users, as we don’t interact outside of the app. Maybe if we did, this form of interaction never would have developed. I have discovered Spotify to support a language of emotion expressed in music, its meaning situated in timing and context. I’ve never felt closer to another person than I have on Spotify. It can be easier to express a feeling by playing a song than to have a conversation about it. I’ve also never felt so lonely, trapped in a computer without a body, sharing emotions with someone I can’t see or speak to. In my presentation, I will tell my story of what can happen on Spotify. It’s a story of uncertainty and unexpected human expression in a time of interactions mediated by technology, especially now due to quarantine that all interactions are virtual.


Tamara Ketabgian

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read our Web Privacy Policy for more information.

Got it! ×