The EJC version includes embedded video of three examples. Please email me for access to that version. Alternatively, URLs are provided in the pre-publication document above.
Video calling is now a realistic option for couples in distance relationships. This paper explores whether audio/video distortions block intimate relational talk. From a naturalistic two-month trial of couples trying video calling to maintain their distance relationships, it is found that couples can opportunistically use audio/video distortions as a relational resource rather than simply treating them as a blocking or outside of relational talk. First, technological mediation can be treated as relevant to disambiguating whether the repair involves simple content repetition or a more complex relational issue. Second, distortions can be treated as resources for relational parody and teasing. It is argued that the opportunistic use of distortions as a relational resource extends Hutchby’s (2001b) notion of technologized interaction, in which technology frames but does not determine social action. Rather than proposing yet another model of communication that includes more detail about noise as deviance that must be remedied, or taking an undifferentiated approach to distortion as “trouble,” the technologized interaction approach broadens our conceptions of online relationships as involving the use of technological features to a more holistic sense of technological mediation being part and parcel of maintaining online relationships
If your university does not subscribe to EJC/REC please email myself or article authors for article copies (and ask your library to subscribe!).
The issue features a keynote article by veteran media space researcher Professor Steven Harrison (Virginia Tech), a book review of the mixed French/English videoconferencing research book Décrire la conversation en ligne: Le face-à-face distanciel, and six research articles (including one of mine).
Parallel Universes of Teleconferencing by Steve Harrison
My Life with Always-On Video by Carman Neustaedter
Video Calling in Long-Distance Relationships: The Opportunistic Use of Audio/Video Distortions as a Relational Resource by Sean Rintel
Like What You See? The Effect of Video-Mediated Gazing on Information Recall and Impression Formation by Chris Fullwood & Neil Morris
Courtroom Interaction as a Multimedia Event: The Work of Producing Relevant Videoconference Frames in French Pre-Trial Hearings by Christian Licoppe, Maud Verdier, & Laurence Dumoulin
Videoconferencing: A Technology with Promises and Challenges – Case Study with IVC in an Undergraduate Course by B. A. Olaniran
Videoconferencing for First Nations Community-Controlled Education, Health and Development by Susan O’Donnell, Lyle Johnson, Tina Kakepetum-Schultz, Kevin Burton, Tim Whiteduck, Raymond Mason, Brian Beaton, Rob McMahon, & Kerri Gibson
Review of Décrire la conversation en ligne: Le face-à-face distanciel, edited by Christine Develotte, Richard Kern, and Marie-Noëlle Lamy, Lyon: ENS Editions, 2011, 215 pp. by Juliana de Nooy
Maintaining a relationship via video calling requires intertwining relational and technological talk. Using detailed qualitative analysis of transcripts from naturalistic recordings of couples in a video calling field trial, this paper explores how couple members use the possibility of technological distortion as a resource for negotiating around the problem of inattentive or inappropriate responses. Inattention may be cast as technological trouble, and, conversely, the technology can be blamed for an apparently relationally inappropriate response. It is argued that research on technologically mediated relationship creation and maintenance should not treat technology as simply a container of relationships or a variably rich transmission system for relational material. Rather, mediation should be explored as a fundamental participant concern in online relationship research.