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


Presentation author(s)

Adrian Hughes ’21, Herndon, Virginia

Major: Philosophy, Creative Writing

Abstract

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.

Sponsor

Tamara Ketabgian

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