To communicate with You

My research focused mostly on the four communication spaces that are defined by You. The four communication spaces that are defined by You (You/Now/Here, You/Now/not-Here, You/not-Now/Here and You/not-Now/not-Here) create a solid ground for social interaction since the interactions with the other human being are understood in the context of the relation with the other human being. Processes of attribution, synchronization and adaptation may be intense, but the series of moments of interaction in a communication process, especially when these are rooted in the You/Now/Here, creates trustworthy interactions. Establishing distrust is as trustworthy in this respect as establishing trust.

The You/Now/Here, being together in natural presence, is the ultimate communication space where trust builds or diminishes, where human dignity is to be respected, where the negotiation about trust and truth ultimately happens. Feedback from synchronous and asynchronous mediated presences (You/not-Now/not-Here, You/Now/not-Here) can contribute to the building or diminishing of trust. Social feelings like love, compassion, loyalty can also be expressed by way of mediated presence. Whenever though issues of ethical nature have to be addressed, when people have to innovate and/or evaluate a meeting in natural presence, in the You/Now/Here, is likely to be most productive. To accomplish certain tasks one would prefer synchronous mediated communication: to make a phone call, a videoconference or a chat. Other tasks are better performed in an asynchronous way: to send a letter by email, to send email or a package.

Whenever people witness each other, who do not know each other, one may argue they move from a not-You space to a You space. When people witness each other in natural presence a sense of responsibility is more easily felt than in mediated presence. When people witness each other this influences how trust develops. Witnessed presence, having a catalytic effect, may increase or diminish trust between people. Again this effect is most strong in natural presence, but when collaborating online to perform a certain task, the regular postings on a mailing list for example prove presence and may generate trust as well.