Borgernes sociale liv splittes i tiltagende grad op mellem på den ene side de nære personlige face-to-face relationer og på den anden side relationer og netværk på internettet.

I den situation - og med de teknologiske muligheder, der nu er hyldevarer - må vi se på, hvordan de mediebårne dialoger og trialoger kan solidificeres ved gensidig multimedial contextualisering


 Multimediating in dyadic and triadic communication will offer a new level of proximity in the quality of telemediated close encountering.





We know it from the movies, and the comics:  A mobile conversation between housewife on the domestic scene and husband in the pub, on a golfrange, in a gambling hall, or in bed with his mistress, presenting himself as talking from his workplace.


The options for mis-representation of self in telespaces are multplying


If mutual trust is the most valuable social resource, we must recognize and prioritize the evolution of  the new multidimensionalities of self-presentation in dyadic dialog, as a most necessary prerequisite & basis for an actors competence in interpersonal communication.


This should form the basis for researching and mobile participating from ground up.

If no nuclear basic-trust quality can be sustained,  hell breaks loose.


The potentials of both domestic and mobile civic self-documentation, snapshotting, monitoring and recording are blooming, as format-choices range from SMS, mobilecall, e-mail, to audio-video face to face on the laptop screen-.

And the roles and guises, in which one can choose to present oneself, are innumerable,

As are the virtual rooms, classes, halls, blogspots, virtual groupings, utube, wetpaint, etc platforms, where encounters can be established, mostly for free. 


Across both the short term mobile citizens and the long term mobile citizens their need for measuring out & recognizing trustworthy and trusting dyadic relations, is of uttermost importance.


The thinking about new multi-person interpersonal spaces must be grounded  in deep studies and knowledge of close dyadic and triadic communication, and  the innovations and options, with which mutual  tele -self-presentation can be multidimensionalized, in laptop to laptop conversation between separated friends and family.


Since the mail and later telephony networks were established we have been blessed by and resigned to text-only and later audio-only conversations.

The last generations of cell-phones, and now also internet-connected laptops with microphone and camera are offering face to face video,

 But the appeal of the first – use of mobile- is  (except for the important and ramifying SMS brief text options) limited by cost, while the appeal of the latter is still in the oven.

We tend to see the laptop camera as directed towards our face,

Face to face is something very special, - we have been “spoiled” by having our faces hidden, in the most intimate distant close encounters.

A free and unrestricted genuine mouth to mouth & face to face long-distance interfacing is around the corner. But seem to lie almost outside the scope of this book.


But – of wider relevance to web 2.0 & web 3.0  issues– is the consideration of  IT-opportunities for mutually representing not the face but the wider embedding, the framing, the immediate and long-term anchorings and backgrounds between mobile and immobile citizens.

Intimate dialogue involves sharing worries in bodily, domestic and informational households,


Close communication recognizes similarities in experience, favours mutual pragmatic advice, by having a sense of the life-processes of the other, explaining the dimensions and horizons one is bounded by, but also rooted in.


Dialogues may be short, or long, more or less often. But conversation from a room of ones own – with a person whom one wouldn’t hesitate to visit in person, could well be embedded in the picture of the speakers room, - and:  framed in the context of the  persons laptop desktop, the so called desktop-sharing.


Now: close and intimate tele-communication takes place in time, at hours of definite days in the corporal, domestic and informational local and proximal householding processes of the participants.


If we don’t understand at least part of the chronological embedding of the partner, real close communication is deemed to failure.

And this involves also at least some amount of shared timeperspectives, be they long term biographical, as with family, old schoolmates, and/or more short-range: over this semester, these weeks, yesterday-today-tomorrow, and contemporary relevances, be they health, economic, climatic, political, - as before an election, or in consequence of news.


In our approach to the theme of social shared time between physically separated citizens, presenting (multiple?) selves in roles in virtual social settings, be it Utube,, MySpace, Facebook, Flicr, Friendster, Orkut, CyWorld or Live Journal,  to approach it from citizens viewpoint we must proceed  from the ground up : from

Intra-personal communication to  Dyadic interlocution, to Triadic communication,


We must recognize close dyad&triad&quartet&pentet communication as the basis, from which responsible evaluation and further choice, involvement and self-representation in  the further interpersonaal spaces of more public groups and platforms should be considered.


We cannot know for sure, what the global spread  of such new interpersonal  distant proximity-qualities will  result in.

Will the angers of the oppressed  resound  too loudly in the refugee-countries  of the expatriates ?  etc.

Will the new proximity-qualities help people to help each other , however long or far, they are separated.  e.g. the chinese workers necessarily beeing missed , separated from their families ?

And could it bee, that the option of ongoing  24-hour sharing with a distant friend or family would outweigh the paraphernelia of  packing and transportation, bus, train, boat,plane to the friends or familys town, hotel or interimistic sleeping arrangements, far away from home, - and the similar packing , return and unpacking.

 Not to speak of the expense ! BUT; To speak of the saving of CO2.


Semi-public wiki’s , with well identified and documented participants and common goals and values, be they commercial or open democracy sites,  must allready be saving a lot of physical transportation, and we are just at the beginning. 


From these assumptions  I draw conclusions:

Multimediating in dyadic and triadic communication will offer a new level of proximity in the quality of telemediated close encountering.


Being physically distant does no more mean context-blind. The option for mutual sharing of simultaneous context, embedding and calender, constitutes a new species of global public good, being within reach of every citizen, who owns a personal laptop and an internet connection.


The human value of this “proximity-in-spite-of distance” may – seen in a wider time-perspective -  transform the patterns and qualities of migration and reduce the need for unproductive short term CO2 expensive visits across the globe.


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