What is the information society?

What Does Society of Information Mean

We explain what the information society is and its characteristics. Also, its importance, advantages and disadvantages.

The term "information society" has been used since the 1960s.

What is the information society?

"Information society" is a term used to define a new way in which communities organize their society and economy .


This expression has been used since the 1960s and has acquired various meanings. Broadly speaking, it can be defined as a stage in which the development of society is oriented towards obtaining and disseminating any type of information instantly .

For this society possible, the different elements that comprise it (from human resources to companies and even different departments of the State ) have capabilities that encourage the development of information.

Thus, within these societies, the number of individuals engaged in information-related tasks is greater , while the proportion engaged in jobs that require physical abilities is much lower.

It can serve you: Virtual communication

Characteristics of the information society

Globalization generates commercial, cultural and political exchanges, among others.

There are numerous features that characterize the information society. Some of them are:

  • Exuberance. Society develops in a habitat in which large volumes of information (phrases, data and images) are a constant part of it.
  • Globalization. This constant exchange from and to any point on the globe results in the formation of a globalized society. This means that commercial, cultural, political links and exchanges are generated, among others, that cross national borders.
  • Centrality In these communities, your individuals receive and send information to and from all parts of the planet . Obviously, there are certain countries or economic regions that stand out for producing and disseminating a greater volume of information than the rest.
  • Technology as the epicenter. For the development of these societies, the evolution of various technological devices that allow the dissemination of information is key.
  • Instantaneity. The speed with which data and information are transmitted is very high, instantaneous, in addition to the fact that this dissemination requires very few costs and can be done simultaneously.
  • No barriers. The time and space are not an obstacle to the dissemination of information.

Importance of the information society

The emergence of the information society is decisive in several aspects. One of them has to do with making access to knowledge more equal . Thus, the power of those who concentrate the monopoly of knowledge is weakened (as happened at the time with the printing press).

This advance then enables the possibility that individuals, beyond the social class to which they belong, can take a leap and occupy certain spaces within the social fabric, which was previously in the hands of that monopoly .

Accessing information becomes much cheaper and, at the same time, there are no spatial barriers, but any individual with a technological device can access knowledge that was previously limited, for example, to those who could access a library.

Origin of the information society

The American economist Fritz Machlup was the one who coined the concept of "knowledge society" in the 60s. This conception arises as a result of the social and economic transformations that began to occur in those years as a result of technological advances.

At that time, industrial society began to move towards a new model in which all those knowledge and controls applied in industrial processes began to migrate towards the management and processing of data and information.

In this way, individuals began to have access to those goods that they themselves and their environment produced while these barriers began to be crossed. Although in the early nineteenth century this was seen in material products, with the advancement of technology , it was transferred to information and knowledge (always thanks to technological advances).

The increase in the circulation of information had an impact in various areas such as:

  • In the economy. Modify the link between companies worldwide and improve their productivity .
  • In personal life. It promotes access to knowledge, services and when interacting with others.
  • In social organizations. The structures become more horizontal and flexible, as well as facilitating f eedback . In addition, the links become much broader: there are no physical or temporal barriers and knowledge is cheaper.

Advantages and disadvantages of the information society

Many tasks were automated, generating unemployment and precariousness.

As in all forms of social model, there are advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them:

  • Disadvantages:
    • Homogenization. Societies tend towards homogeneity by coming into constant contact with other goods, services and cultures , which can lead to the loss of their traditions and the adoption of distant ones.
    • Unemployment and precariousness. With advances in technology, many tasks that people once did have been automated and replaced by technology. This destroys sources of employment, generates unemployment and, as a consequence, lends itself to greater precariousness within job offers ( low wages , informal work and loss of job benefits).
    • Loss of privacy. Especially with the emergence of social networks , the field of intimacy is reduced to its minimum expression.
    • Economic concentration. The globalization also entails a concentration of control and management of the economy , and therefore, an inequality that is observed worldwide.
  • Advantage:
    • Efficiency . Thanks to the greater flow of data and information, production becomes much more efficient. More is produced and for less cost.
    • Access to goods. The information became a product that can be accessed by members of any community to take advantage of it.
    • Democracy . The fact that access to information is simple and inexpensive democratizes access to knowledge and provides people with new tools.
    • Communication . The information society facilitates and speeds up communication from different parts of the world.
    • Informed society. That a society can access information more easily gives it greater freedom when making decisions .

Go up