Navigating the complex social ecology of screen-based activity in video-mediated interaction

BALAMAN U., Doehler S. P.

Pragmatics, vol.32, no.1, pp.54-79, 2022 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1075/prag.20023.bal
  • Journal Name: Pragmatics
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Communication Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.54-79
  • Keywords: Conversation analysis, L2 interaction, Progressivity, Screen-based activity, Video-mediated interaction
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Task-oriented video-mediated interaction takes place within a complex digital-social ecology which presents, to participants, a practical problem of social coordination: How to navigate, in mutually accountable ways, between interacting with the remote co-participants and scrutinizing one's own screen -which suspends interaction-, for instance when searching for information on a search engine. Using conversation analysis for the examination of screen-recorded dyadic interactions, this study identifies a range of practices participants draw on to alert co-participants to incipient suspensions of talk. By accounting for such suspensions as being task-related through verbal alerts, typically in the form let me/let's X, participants successfully 'buy time', which allows them to fully concentrate on their screen activity and thereby ensure the progression of task accomplishment. We discuss how these findings contribute to our understanding of the complex ecologies of technology-mediated interactions.