Not-You is information (biased or not)

I can be with my lover, leave the house and pass a 'bump' and not even notice this person. Where did all my love go? When I am alone in a subway station I may say hello, just for my safety's sake, but when there are 10 people waiting I do not greet any of them. When there are a hundred people I stop noticing them at all. When I pass a frontier between countries customs officials will look me in the eye, but not make any contact with me. Any official, with whom I have to deal, has been given the order to apply rules about my identity in their database and not to let any personal contact interfere with the application of the rules. In this landscape, in which thousands of people are present with whom I do not interact as humans but merely consider them to be information, I can find my loved ones, raise children, find friends, interact with neighbours and colleagues and generally act as a human being.

The way I relate to other people influences how I understand their actions and it even influences my perception of time and place. Being alone on a platform in a train station with tooth ache is a very different experience to being on the same platform at the same time kissing your loved one who is about to leave. All three levels of consciousness are involved in both situations, and our sense of presence is triggered in each of the three layers.

When considering mediated presence, the way I relate to other people also defines how I experience the mediated presence of this person. I understand the witnessed mediated presence within the context of the course of that particular relationship. It influences the processes of attribution, synchronization and adaptation deeply as was argued in the section about mediated presence above. When I perceive and witness other people in mediated presence as not-You, I merely treat their mediated presence as information about the environment I am in. It remains to be seen whether the witnessed mediated presence experience is as profound as an experience of social interaction in natural presence would be. The impact of social interaction in mediated presence can be considerable. The question is whether the sense of presence 'as a tool for survival' can be triggered to its maximum potential in mediated presence as effectively as in natural presence.