So I was also asked to put together some suggested reading for people who want to look at social presence through online engagement.
I've put together a starting list - although sadly without reference to the books scattered all over my office in Durham. I'll need to upgrade it when I get to the office later in the week.
Of course, where do you start? The idea that Social Presence online is a debateable thing kind of doesn't make sense to me. Of course we can engage online and have meaningful community. Of course being physically present is richer. But being fully present can also be overwhelming and manipulative and completely disempowering as well. Social presence isn't limited to embodied presence.
God, Jesus, Paul all know this - the great theologians and mystics, every Christian who believes that Jesus dwells within their hearts. That latter isn't an embodied presence as if a little Jesus sits inside a hermetically sealed chamber within your upper right atrium (that's Pixar's Inside Out you're thinking of). If we can know Jesus' social presence both in mystical union and in the breaking of bread and wine, we should be guessing that human psychology does not need embodied presence to afford social meaningful presence to one who is absent in terms of physicality.
Isn't that kind of basic?
Anyway, here is the list. I wonder what one book you would add to it to strengthen it. I am more than aware that I have focussed on secular digital literature rather than run around the houses with the theological literature.