The aim of this article is threefold: first, to discuss a framework for understanding the penetration of information and communication technology (ICT) in Western households and the abundance of associated risks such as capability deficits, a network society exclusive to internet users leading increasingly to net addicts living in virtual worlds and to new technology asserting new controls and diminishing productive and social human roles; second, to present some pertinent results from a survey conducted in Finnish households describing the selection and adoption of new ICT, regional differences in its use, the rate of growth in its availability and criteria for assessing the success of technology policies; and thirdly, to conceptualize the coming of the information society from the viewpoint of futures research given that much of the information society exists only in the mythical world of advertisements while the real society still retains many of its traditional features. The main conclusion is that the knowledge society, in contrast with the information society, will require the transparency and equality of human‐technology transactions. The ICT already gives possibilities for building explicit knowledge into society such that citizens and consumers are able to make better decisions in terms of being more informed.
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