Abstract - The Information Society 26(4)

Introduction to the Special Issue on ICT adoption and User Choices

David Kurt Herold

ICTs have increasingly become an integral part of society, enhancing, changing, supporting, and complicating human lives. The disregard of technology inventors and designers for the users of ICTs has resulted in disjunctures between ICTs and users, though, as users have refused to become mere agents of the designers. Individual users have developed their own uses of ICTs based on the complex webs of relations and meanings in which they function as social actors. Instead of adjusting these webs to new ICTs, they have fit the ICTs into their pre-existing social webs, often resulting in imaginative and creative uses for new technologies, not envisaged by the original designers. Accordingly, human users should be given precedence over ICTs, and that studies should focus less on creative uses of given technologies, and more on an appropriate design of ICTs that can be integrated into human lives.

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