Ethical implications of new dynamics

The simple fact of ‘being alive’ generates a person’s natural presence. During the past century information- and communication technology has made it possible to facilitate mediation of human presence beyond the imagination of ever before. People transcend time and place many times in the course of a day, in different roles and different stances. In many situations physical presence is replaced or complemented by one or more types of mediated presence. As millions of people now use such technology every day, social systems for negotiating trust and truth are faced with new dynamics. The ethical implications of these new dynamics demand rigorous analysis of the unprecedented impact on the social structures currently valued. This paper argues that witnessed presence is key to determining trust and truth in natural and mediated environments.

Chapter 2 positions the notion of witnessed presence in the context of relevant literature. This section discusses three aspects of presence encountered in the literature that are strongly related to the concept of witnessed presence. Chapter 3 introduces witnessed presence as key to the negotiation of trust and truth. Chapter 4 presents the YUTPA framework, being with You in Unity of Time Place and Action, and the four dimensions of witnessed presence with which trust is associated. Chapter 5 illustrates the YUTPA framework as a method for design and Chapter 6 discusses future directions for research.