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Making sense of cyberspace: a question of being-with information technology
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics.
1999 (English)In: Proceedings of the Conference Exploring Cyber Society: Social, Political, Economic and Cultural Issues / [ed] Armitage, John & Roberts, Joanne, Newcastle, UK: Univeristy of Northumbria at Newcastle , 1999, 1-9 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The various ways in which people speak about and use information and communicationtechnologies indicates that these technologies puzzle and amaze. People are trying to makesense of a new and unfamiliar technology and forms of communicating and being withothers. At the same time they are forming new ways of community and life.This paper is related to people’s relationships with information and communicationtechnologies (ICTs) and how these relationships are understood. As information technologyincreasingly extend various horizons in our lives, it is necessary for new and diverseunderstandings of the relationship between humans and information technology.The central notion in this paper is that people’s experiences of information technology areof great importance for how the technology is understood, used, evaluated and designed. Ofparticular importance is the emotional and diverse meanings attributed in relation toinformation technology.One example is the contemporary understandings of Virtual Communities that areestablished through people’s experiences with, in or through information and communicationtechnologies. Virtual communities may or may not be connected to the physical world andexists within a continuum of interaction from tools for computing, writing, designing andcommunicating to various life forms. That is, new context of signification and affectivecirculation that structure individual and cultural life. As such, people’s perceptions andexperiences of computer-mediated communication shift and change depending on what theyare doing or why they are interacting at a given time.The question is therefore not how to determine or evaluate various technologies usefulnessor implication but how to establish relevant knowledge that can be valid for the determinationof future directions in the process of cultural creation.By an experiential understanding of information technology I hold it possible to attain thenecessary sensibility for the complexities arising from peoples various interpretations ofinformation and communication technologies. Through peoples experiences with ICTsresearchers become challenged with new dimensions of intellectual engagement in ourcontemporary life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle, UK: Univeristy of Northumbria at Newcastle , 1999. 1-9 p.
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32534ISBN: 0953645002OAI: diva2:303984
Exploring Cyber Society
Available from: 2010-03-16 Created: 2010-03-16 Last updated: 2010-03-17Bibliographically approved

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