Mediated Presence in the Future

The Evolution of Mediated Presence

  • Distinction between physical and virtual blurs increasingly, but we adapt to it in the way we perceive, respond to, and generally experience the world around us.
  • We originally had adapted through evolution to gain and understanding/experience of the physical/external world around us.

There are 3 questions that need to be answered when appraising and environment/experience:

  1. What is happening in the world around me, or only in my head?
  2. Is it likely to be true, or is it fiction?
  3. Is it good or bad for me (and how good or bad)?

Methods to answer the questions:

  1. The degree of presence felt.
  2. Reality Judgment.
  3. Strength of a positive or negative emotional response.

This suggests that a rapidly developing phenomena of mediated presence points to a dynamically changing relationship between the self and the other.

  • The technology is part of the self
  • The mediated reality is part of the other.

Action and Altered Body Experiences

  • Emphasis on what is not presence but is still conscious in any situation, termed absence, arising when the main focus is the self (the internal world), not the other (the external physical/mediated world)
  • There are generalized minimal cues that are key to convincing the sense of presence.
  • These cues are effected by our past experiences, and in the way each cue effects different people in a diverse set of ways.
  • We rarely feel totally present or not present, regardless of physical world or mediated world.
  • It is through presence that we feel and perceive the world around us, not necessarily through actions

First, Second, and Third Person Presences

  • Technology can allows us to observe ourselves from the outside while simultaneously experiencing individual presence as the observed person.
  • First person perspective is the key in evoking strong presence in media. First person also suggests that we are adaptive to methods of control, and our ability to use a device to control an outcome, so long as the tool for mediation stay consistent, is naturally capable of understanding the interaction after some observation.
  • It is more common now to experience third person interaction, such as controlling an avatar. The question is raised: Do I feel more present if my avatar looks and behaves like me.
  • Least common is second person, in which a person interacts with a representation of themselves, from another’s perspective.

Social Versus Individual Presence in Media

  • Argues that the social and individual presence are counters to each other. When one is born, they start out fully present in the other (the world around them) and as one interacts more with the social, their presence diminishes with their understanding, and becomes more focused on the self.

Digital Media and the Future Evolution of Presence

  • Development of human sense of presence is a reflection of the rapid evolution of digital technologies.

Three interrelated arguments:

  1. Technology is increasingly part of our bodies.
  2. Tangible or embodied interactions characterize our future.
  3. The individual is in some ways an abstraction.
  • Some digital media becomes part of the self, while some become part of the other.
  • When the technology is not present, we feel like we are missing something. Go so far as to say that when a person’s contacts in their phone are deleted, they feel as though they are losing a portion of their memory.


  • Technology has become part of the self, and mediated reality has become a part of the other.
  • The amount of presence we experience through a medium provides a measurement of how much technology has become a part of the self.
  • Predicts that soon we will experience everything through a combined mediation of technology and reality.

About Connors Eilersen

I am a graduate (BFA) of Ryerson University, and I like to make things, design things, and think things.
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