Information society refers to a society in which the creation, distribution, and manipulation of information have become the most significant economic and cultural activity.
It is a society characterized by rapid growth in the use of information- a society in which quality of life and economic development depend largely on information and its exploitation, the increasing use of computers, the commoditization of information, e-commerce, and the use of technology for community development.
It is a society in which the information is the driving force for its development and the majority of people are engaged in creating, gathering, storage, processing or distribution of information to achieve a competitive edge.
In an information society, the main focus is on rapid production and distribution of information across the world. In this society, wealth is generated by the service sector. These societies are technology-intensive rather than the machine-intensive. Physical workers are replaced by information-workers like librarians, scientists, journalists, and professionals etc.
Today, information plays an increasingly important role in the economic, social, cultural, and political sectors. Countries are becoming information-intensive to achieve competitors and to participate in the growing international market.
It has become a central element for the success of any country and to improve the overall economy of a country. Therefore most of the countries are actively developing their local information industries to facilitate the development process of information societies.
In an information society, the service sector is driving the economy rather than the manufacturing sector. Service sector generates more wealth in information societies rather than the manufacturing sector. Information is the most valuable resource. Provision of services is the main way for a growing economy rather than the production of goods.
Characteristics of Information Society
Following are the main characteristics of an information society:
- An information society is a society surrounded by the information and it cannot survive without the computers, internet, mobile phones etc.
- It is based on the information rather than material goods as the chief driver of socio-economics.
- It is a society where the creation, distribution, use, integration, and manipulation of information are significant economic, cultural, political and social activities.
- Organizations make use of information to increase their efficiency, to stimulate innovation and increase their effectiveness through improvements in the quality of goods and services that they produce.
- Development of information-intensive organizations add a greater amount of value and thus benefit a country’s overall economy.
- An information society offers various benefits to the general public. People use information intensively in their activities as consumers to make an informed choice between different products.
- It is a society which is based on the production and distribution of the information especially by means of computers.
- It is a society in which all the work is information-based. Information is the key factor for all the tasks.
- In an information society, the general public uses the information as citizens to exercise civil rights and responsibilities.
- Another characteristic of information societies is the development of an informal sector within the economy in order to satisfy the general demand for information facilities and services.