Enacting identity

A fourth consequence of the cognitive clash between intention and realization in mediated presence is its influence on the creation of consistent identities.

In the thinking actor the adjustment of what is possible and desirable takes place in this clash between intention and realization. It is where mastery accelerates and where personal perception of one's own skill and position is challenged. Through this confrontation one also discovers the nature of one's own work and one can decide to adapt one's practice or not. Issues like personal honour, loyalty, solidarity, accountability, exploitation, malpractice, the use and abuse of power, and corruption all influence this clash and also the understanding of it.

The consequences of mediated presence for the developing identity are two fold. Mediated presence influences how people reflect upon themselves and how people perceive the mediated presence of others. The reflection on one's own identity triggered by mediated presences is dependent upon how the You dimension is understood for it to influence people's identity. People perceive each other's identity through mediation and as in natural presence codes of conduct, meaning of style and intercultural communication influence how people perceive each other's identities. Most people have more than one identity to maintain in natural presence: at work, in the neighbourhood, with friends, etc. This creation of identity also happens online, which causes people to 'behave' in a certain way in mediated presence when they are involved in social interaction.

Human beings 'enact' their identity in mediated presence as they do in natural presence. Because the ethical imprint of mediated presence is not as strong as in natural presence, social feelings of care, responsibility and compassion tend to be less developed unless the mediated presence is connected to social interactions in natural presence as well.