Information Society

A digital life

Information society is a society that functions due to the creation, exchange, and dissemination of information. This is my simplified version of an information society. Simplified or not, the fact of the matter is that our world has changed at an increasing rate in the past 50 years.

Manuel Castells best explained these changes in his 3 volume series The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. He proposed that these changes began, "around the late 1960s and mid-1970s, of three independent processes: the information technology revolution; the economic crisis of both capitalism and statism and their subsequent restructuring; and the blooming of cultural social movement such as libertarianism, human rights, feminism, and environmentalism. The interaction between these processes, and the reactions they triggered, brought into being a new dominant social structure, the network society; a new economy, the information/global economy; and a new culture, the culture of virtual reality." (as cited by Ann Forsyth, 1999).This excerpt comes from a 1999 review article, imagine how many changes there have been since 1999.

For a visual of these changes LOOK AT THE IMAGE ABOVE. This image captures the essence of our times. We are connected; our eyes are on some sort of screen, our ears are connected to the i-pod, and our hands stuck to our smart phones.

Life is now taking place in what philosopher Javier Echeverria has called the third environment. The first environment existed in nature where "agrarian and rural society prevailed;" the second environment existed in the city where "industrial society predominates;" and this new third environment exists in cyberspace where the "information society and new technologies prevail." In short, technology is king (as cited by Ramirez de la Piscina, 2007).

Information has become its own industry; the information technology industry. Commercial, financial, governmental, and other important industries and agencies within our society rely heavily on information technologies to make business, administrative, and political decisions. For more information check our Resources page and the links to related articles above.