Mediated Immediacy During Virtual Dinners Between Strangers



immediacy, informal interactions, video communication, social presence


During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual communication channels have been used to ensure physical distance between people. However, moving everyday social interactions into virtual platforms also affects the communication of relational distance – that is, immediacy – between people. The study goal is to understand the content, functions, and situational meanings of immediacy at virtual dinners between strangers. We observed, recorded, and analyzed four virtual dinners and interviewed all participants afterward. The participants lived in Finland at the time of the study. The results revealed that in addition to self-presentational and other-oriented communication, the participants engaged in communication that aimed at creating common ground for interaction. Based on the results, it can be concluded that mediated immediacy is communication that, in addition to being relational (distance between interlocutors), is also situational (finding common ground).

Author Biographies

Venla Kuuluvainen, Tampere University

Ph.D., Post doctoral researcher, Tampere University, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences (post doctoral researcher at the Have a Seat! -project)

Ira Virtanen, Tampere University

PhD., Specialist, Tampere University, Doctoral School. (Ira Virtanen worked as a post doctoral researcher in the Have a seat! -project until September 2020.

Pekka Isotalus, Tampere University

Ph.D., Professor, Communication Studies, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences (Principal investigator in the Have a seat! -project)




How to Cite

Kuuluvainen, V., Virtanen, I., & Isotalus, P. (2021). Mediated Immediacy During Virtual Dinners Between Strangers. Human Communication & Technology, 2(1). Retrieved from



Original Empirical Research