MATCHING DIGITAL INTERVENTION AFFORDANCES WITH TASKS: THE CASE OF ZOOM AND WHATSAPP MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION FOR SENIORS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Keywords:intervention, affordances, media richness, social media, health, COVID-19, WhatsApp, Zoom
During the first COVID-19 wave, we conducted a Zoom and WhatsApp digital group intervention that promoted community-dwelling older individuals’ mental health. Based on the media richness theory (MRT) and affordances approach, in this study we used netnography to explore how Zoom and WhatsApp technological affordances/constraints matched intervention tasks and increased intervention performance. We identified four Zoom and WhatsApp affordances: temporality, interactivity, multimediality, and portability. Empirically, our findings indicate how an information-rich media (i.e., high levels of multimediality) can be helpful in conducting complicated intervention tasks, whereas information-lean media (i.e., ongoing communication through text messages) can support simple tasks such as remote intervention management. Theoretically, our study expands on previous MRT media characteristics with the affordances approach and examines how the match between media affordances and task characteristics contributes to intervention performance. We offer recommendations for the research and design of future digital interventions.