The purpose of this study is to analyze image macros about video-mediated communication (VMC) created during the time frame of 2020-2021 when people all over the world started using Zoom and VMC for work and school. It is a unique opportunity to study how users' interactions with themselves and with others were affected at a time when a lot of people started using the technology at the same time. Because the focus is on interactions, I narrowed it down to three topics to analyze the memes: presence, self, and space and place to analyze the memes. I chose memes relating to these topics that were found on three popular meme databases: KnowYourMeme, Memedroid, and Memes.Com. Utilizing visual analysis tools and Shifman's format for analyzing memes, each meme was placed in a group and analyzed. The research revealed that users experienced some stressful situations regarding elements of presence, such as feeling isolated and embarrassed at times. Users were also distracted by seeing their image, were overly focused on their appearance (particularly when on camera) and utilized virtual backgrounds for self-expression. Finally, users demonstrated that the collision of private and public space happened when family members or pets interrupted meetings. They also noted that privacy was often intruded upon when other users gained personal information not normally available in face-to-face gatherings. Finally, some took advantage of the changed format to assert power. Most research concerning Zoom and other VMC focuses on how to use it effectively. There is very little research about creative reactions to the usage of this technology and this research fills that gap.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Claytor, Tatyana, "Studying Memes During Covid Lockdown as a Lens Through Which to Understand Video-Mediated Communication Interactions" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1849.