The second publication from the ‘Living with Personal Data’ project, entitled ‘Enacting intimacy and sociality at a distance in the COVID-19 crisis: the sociomaterialities of home-based communication technologies‘ (authored by Ash Watson, Deborah Lupton and Mike Michael) has now been published in Media International Australia in an extraordinary issue on “Coronavirus, crisis and communication”. In this article, we discuss some of the ways people used digital technologies to stay in touch – and care for – their loved ones during the early months of COVID lockdown.
The abstract reads:
Significant restrictions on movement outside the home due to the global COVID-19 pandemic have intensified the importance of everyday digital technologies for communicating remotely with intimate others. In this article, we draw on findings from a home-based video ethnography project in Sydney to identify the ways that digital devices and software served to support and enhance intimacy and sociality in this period of crisis and isolation. Digital communication technologies had an increased presence in people’s domestic lives during lockdown. For many people, video calling software had become especially important, allowing them to achieve greater closeness and connection with their friends and family in enacting both everyday routines and special events. These findings surface the digital and non-digital materialities of sociality and intimacy, and the capacities opened by people’s improvisation with the affordances of home-based communication technologies at a time of extended physical isolation.
As with all publications, please email us if you cannot access a copy via the link above.