Abstract - The Information Society 8 (3)

Megatrends or Megamistakes? What Ever Happened to the The Information Society?

Tom Forester

Most discourse about computers in the media and in the information technology (IT) industry is utopian, yet there is a growing body of literature pointing to the lack of social transformation arising from computerization. The evidence for and against social transformation is reviewed in terms of lifestyles and the structure of society, comparing past predictions with current reality. It is concluded that most forecasts have gone awry because forecasters have ignored the human factor. There have been a number of unanticipated problems thrown up by the IT revolution, most of which involve the human factor. Perhaps it is time for a major reassessment of the human relationship to technology, especially the new information and communication technologies. The technological advances in computing seem to have out paced the human ability to make use of them. Perhaps people should go back to basics and first decide what they really want out of life and then direct technology toward those simple, human ends.

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