Presence qualifies trust

Presence, I argue, is one of the major determinants in the negotiation of trust and truth. Because of the development of technology we face multiple presences and make a 'trade-off' in which the different configuration of YUTPA's defines what possible action and feedback can be expected. As argued by Riva, Waterworth and Waterworth, presence is a tool for survival. (Riva, Waterworth & Waterworth 2004). Because of the survival value of our presence, we need to embed a perspective when designing products or a process. We also need this perspective when designing 'situations'. The possible feedback from the variety of YUTPA's, which are offered to an actor or a group of actors, has to facilitate these actors to act upon their well-being and survival. YUTPA adds the dimension of 'You' to the concept of 'situated knowledge' and the concept of 'situation design'. It is our 'social survival', our negotiation of trust and truth, and our capacity for ethical behaviour that is at risk in the evolving multiple presences. It is also in the dimension of the 'You' where tactical social innovation happens which in the end may trigger strategic change.

However immersive, entertaining, intruding and determining mediated presences may be, we need to realise how and when to nurture our natural presence. We have to deconstruct the multiple presences that face us. Media schemata help us to operate the mediated presences. In the 'trade-off' between the multiple presences we have to be able to differentiate though what we can do to sustain our survival and well-being as a human being.

For designers of products and processes that will influence people's behaviour and environment, the notion of YUTPA was developed in this study. This is a description of the specific configuration between time, place, action and You in a product or a process. Using this way of describing a product or a process clarifies the way mediated and witnessed presences relate to our natural presence. The cues for survival are embedded in our natural sense of presence.

A YUTPA is defined by its underlying infrastructure in which social economic relations are reflected. It describes the distinct set of possibilities and liabilities that are facilitated by the specific character of its dimensions of time, place, action and the other. It takes ethical behaviour and moral distance into account and doing so it sheds light on how trust and the delegation of trust may develop in a communication process. It describes what expectations and anticipations may be reasonable to expect and what confusions may occur. By describing these dimensions it is possible to distinguish the character of a certain YUTPA and design its contribution to a communication process more deliberately.