Mediated presences challenge the concepts of causality as human beings knew them. Media schemata help to make bridges, but a certain consistency of time/place configurations is broken down in mediated presence. Connecting in time remains distinct when discussing social interaction. Place, as a distinct factor of cognitive structures, seems to have been replaced by 'connection'. As long as we can connect in time, it does not matter where the person is physically located. Connection is more distinct than place in mediated presence. What kind of implications does this have for cognitive structures of causality?
Research in this field is only just beginning, but judging from the way my study has developed I suspect that the clash between intention and realization in mediated presence is largely determined by the 'other' human being or organization that we are connected to. In order to be connected one has to be 'switched on', but once 'switched on' the context of the connection, in which the clash between intention and realization takes place, is determined by the other, by the You or the notÐYou. In natural presence the You is also a factor of distinction, but the social interaction between the actor and the You occurs, and is influenced, by factors of time and place. Because the You is 'placed' it is easier to understand with whom or with what one is dealing, because place involves culture and this gives context to the meeting. In mediated presence time is still a factor that is accepted as causality, but place no longer is. The notÐHere is replaced by a specific position in the dimension of You and notÐYou. Even though cognitive structures can transcend place and time, our physical being can not. As long as the confrontation with the physical reality can be evaded, there seems to be no problem.
The moment that people need 'stuff' in real life is when connections change shape. Then they have to generate vital information and have to prove that they can leave the realm of 'connections' and transform into shapes of real life, of natural presence. A certain consistency has to evolve. The fact that these bridges between natural and mediated presence are not easily built is argued by Manuel Castells: "Thus, people do still live in places. But because function and power in our societies are organized in the space of flows, the structural domination of its logic essentially alters the meaning and dynamic of places. Experience, being related to places, becomes abstracted from power, and meaning is increasingly separated from knowledge. The dominant tendency is toward a horizon of networked, ahistorical space of flows, aiming and imposing its logic over scattered, segmented places, increasingly unrelated to each other, less and less able to share cultural codes. Unless cultural and physical bridges are deliberately built between these two forms of space, we may be heading toward life in parallel universes whose times cannot meet because they are warped into different dimensions of social hyperspace." (Castells 1996, 428).