The Internet and the new economy

AuthorMarek Sokolowski
1. Introduction. Searching for a method to describe the Internet
The phenomenon of the Internet is explored by specialists of various
areas and science branches. Linguists observe the changes the language of the
Internet undergoes and which is connected with writing online diaries (blogs), as
well as participating in online discussions carried out on Internet forums.
Teachers, apart from educational features, notice the d estructive role of the
Internet offering pornography, popularising intolerant attitudes and aggressive
behaviour. Sociologists write about birth of a new type of Internet societies –
active within virtual nations, subcultures or discussion groups. Political scientists
analyse this new medium as a perfect tool for political promotion and
marketing as well as a new type of political public relations. Economists and
management specialists noticed commercial applications of the In ternet – today
e-business and e-commerce have become crucial for numerous comp anies,
enterprises and banks carrying out virtual transactions and operating virtual
1.1. Information society and the Internet
Social changes connected with subsequent phases of technological
innovations are associated with the emergence of a new form called
information society, knowledge society or network society. There are
numerous publications concerning this issue; however, there is no
common definition for it. The ongoing discussions do not solve the
dispute whether the society is emerging as a long-term effect of applying
more and more sophisticated solutions concerning communication and
information technology in the lives of individuals, enterprises and
administration or we are observing a process of revolutionary social
changes determined by a technological factor – an information revolution
(May, 2003).
From the point of view of the historical association model,
information society is as different from industrial society as industrial
society from agrarian society. This is the model used by A. Toffler (1980)
in the concept of “the third wave”, as well as applied by J. Naisbitt in
“Megatrends” (1982). According to L. Groff (1993-1994), a characteristic
* Sociology Department - The University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

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