The Phenomenology of Zoom

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This thesis involves a phenomenological analysis of Zoom, a currently popular videoconferencing technology, particularly engaging with the philosophers Don Ihde and Alfred Schutz. This thesis will show that the experience of direct connection via Zoom is characterized essentially by both the illusory sense of a shared environment and the accuracy of Zoom’s representations of participants, leading to many misperceptions and false experiences, as well as the constant breakdown of this illusion, wherein users gain awareness of the limits of Zoom, but in the process lose connection to others. The necessity of illusion in Zoom, this thesis argues, is a result of a fundamental material distance between participants that cannot be overcome by technology.


Type of resource text
Date created [ca. December 2020] - June 2021


Author Evan Kim
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Symbolic Systems Program
Primary advisor Bukatman, Scott
Advisor Jackson, Gabrielle


Subject zoom
Subject videoconferencing
Subject phenomenology
Subject philosophy
Subject technology
Subject Don Ihde
Subject Alfred Schutz
Subject Symbolic Systems Department
Genre Thesis

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Kim, Evan. "The Phenomenology of Zoom". Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Undergraduate Honors Theses, Symbolic Systems Program, Stanford University

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