One technology that is central to my project is Zoom. “Zoom is a cloud-based video communications app that allows you to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities.” I will be using Zoom Basic, Version: 5.9.6 (4993).
Sociability and Affordances
Zoom is a social technology because it allows people to interaction with each other even when they are not physically together. With Zoom, people see each other’s facial expressions and hear their tone of voice. It’s more personal than a phone call, and a lot more personal than an email or text message. There is also the ability to screen-share, where you can look at the same screen as the person you’re interacting with. This makes it feel like you are closer together and it’s easier to communicate about what you are sharing. You could be going over an essay for school, watching a video, or showing them photos.
Zoom became more popular during March and April of 2020. This was when the COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone to quarantine and stop living their normal lives. The pandemic was extremely difficult for everyone, especially if they lived alone or if they were used to being around people and having social interactions every day. Zoom or similar software like Skype or FaceTime were likely the only opportunities for people to feel connected with others.
Most students, whether they were in kindergarten or a senior in college, had to switch to attending class online at the start of the pandemic. There was no longer a feeling of coming into a classroom, sitting at your desk next to other classmates, and looking up at the board getting ready to learn something new. That feeling turned into sitting in bed, barely awake, logging onto Zoom, but it was the only way that class could continue. Adults that could work remotely were also forced to switch. And for those that couldn’t, they had to work in person and risk their health.
The focus of the interviews will be mental health and how isolation during those times effected the participants mentally and physically. From the interest form that they filled out, each of them has said that their rabbit played a big part of making them feel needed and like they were not alone. Both Zoom and pets, specifically bunnies, were a major role in people’s well-being for the last two years. It is hard to believe that we have been living in such a different, isolated, and conflicting world for so long, but that just gives more reason to be grateful for the things that help us most.
Since all of the interviews I’m doing will be long distance, there could be poor connection, audio trouble, or any other technical difficulties on either my part or theirs. Everything has to be working smoothly for both of us for the interview to be successful.
My conversation with the participants will be centered around their bunnies and well-being. Although I may be able to see a bunny through the screen, it is nothing compared to sitting down and bonding with the rabbit. In my graphic designs, I will try to portray the attitude and personality of the rabbit, and that could be difficult because bunnies won’t enjoy sitting still in front of a camera for a long time. Thankfully, each of the participants have also created an Instagram account for their rabbits, just as I have for Luna. This makes it easier to get to know both the person and the bunny, and, with their permission, I will use information from their photos and videos to create an awareness campaign that shows just how helpful these small pets can be.