Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Digital Love: Hacking the System


Cite this article:

2015 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918.

According to John Lennon, “All you need is love…” Do these words still hold true? What happens when society, family, or friends don’t approve? Or when cultural values make finding love feel awkward or taboo? Digital has forever changed what is accepted and expected in the world of dating; however, even online platforms do not always enable everyone’s expression of love. Despite these obstacles, in-love audiences are hacking societal constructs through social media to find love on their own terms. They are manipulating the intended uses of social media platforms in unique and unexpected ways to express love – especially when this need is unmet in real life. Derek Kopen and Julie Capron see an opportunity for brands to learn from these hacking behaviors by examining what these hacks tell us about people, their motivations, and what it truly means to build meaningful connections.

Julie Capron A Director of Strategy at Manifest, Julie utilizes her experience and passion as a researcher, digital anthropologist, and brand strategist to lead research and strategy teams, arriving at innovative and thoughtful solutions for her internal teams and clients.

Derek Kopen Derek is an Emory graduate with a BBA in Marketing and Consulting. He is currently an experience brand strategist at SapientNitro, New York where he collaborates with cross-functional teams of technologists, UX designers, ethnographers, and brand strategists to deepen and grow relationships between consumers and brands.