19 Aug 2022
How are Americans meeting in non-typical digital spaces?

Dating apps aren’t the only way for people to meet online. Couples are finding each other all over the internet – via Discord servers, video games, review sites, and even customer service portals. What do these unconventional digital meet-cutes reveal about the state of digital romance?

William Chopik is a social psychologist at Michigan State University, studying how relationships – and the people in them – change over time and across situations. He focuses on how factors both inside (biological, hormonal) and outside (social roles, geography) of people influence their approach to social relationships. In 2016, Chopik was named one of Forbes' '30 Under 30 in Science', and in 2015, he was named one of the '30 Top Thinkers Under 30' in Pacific Standard magazine.

As a sociocultural anthropologist, Philipp has been exploring media, technologies, infrastructures, visuality, activism, and internet histories. He has been doing ethnographic fieldwork in Canada, Austria, and several internet environments. Currently, he is investigating infrastructures in the North American Arctic. Philipp is co-convenor of the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ Media Anthropology Network and co-founder of the Digital Ethnography Initiative at the University of Vienna. His research has resulted in a variety of publications, such as the edited volumes Theorising Media and Conflict and Ritualisierung – Mediatisierung – Performance.

Adrienne Matei is a journalist for publications including the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Vanity Fair, The Globe, and The Guardian. She writes about the intersection of online and offline culture from Gen Zer Tik Tok trends to the digital afterlife.