This project was inspired by my family and girlfriend, who all work in healthcare. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything to help. I felt guilty.
The project was initially very healthcare focused. I wanted to do something to thank our healthcare workers for their hard work and bravery. But as I continued to develop the idea, I realized thanking only does so much. It feels good, but it doesn’t solve the bigger problem.
It became clear that the only way to end this pandemic is for people to stay home and practice physical distancing. State governments all around the country have issued lockdowns, restrictions, and stay at home orders. Despite that, people are still out and about.
That forced me to think about a more persuasive way to get people to stay home. If we tell people they have to stay home, it triggers something called psychological reactance. Psychological reactance is our brain’s response to a threat to our freedom. Threats to freedom include any time someone suggests or makes you do something.
Instead, a better approach is to create a movement that people want to be a part of. In Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, belongingness is part of one of his major needs that motivate human behavior. By belonging to a group, we feel as if we are a part of something bigger and more important than ourselves.
That’s what inspired the Home Team. Instead of physical distancing equaling isolation, it becomes a community that people want to belong to.