Monday, March 17, 2014

At the ISPR Conference in Vienna

The concept of presence deals with a vast collection of attributes and style preferences.  Right now, as I sit at the University of Vienna, I wonder how presence is involved in online bonding.  In order for both people to be able to interact on an emotional level during an interpersonal interaction, they must both feel that they "see" the other and that they are "seen" by the other.  Presence, in this context, acts to constrain their interaction and shape how they feel about each other.  A feedback loop between the two interacts can either lead to a great deal of connection or it can lead to feeling a deficit of emotion.   Both outcomes are equally likely unless previous knowledge or active cognition changes the dynamic.  For social networking, if one "sees" the other, but is not "seen", as we have in the case of unequal power dynamics, then true empathy cannot exist between the two parties.  Due to the reciprocal nature an empathic interaction, it can be said that presence in this sense only occurs when both interactants are considered "present."