The phrase Information Society is used to describe a society whose main means of production is based on information vs. an industrial society whose main means of production of value is based on machine. Unlike the information bound to the geographically attached space of the physical world, information "does not have boundaries like a territorial field. In this field, elements related by objective-oriented action are related to each other through information networks".
Japanese futurist Yoneji Masuda is regarded as one of the first people to both research and simulate the arrival of the information society in the early 1980's."If the goal of industrial society is represented by volume consumption of durable consumer goods or realization of heavy mass consumption centering around motorization," he wrote, "the information society my be termed as a society with highly intellectual creativity where people may draw future designs on an invisible canvas and pursue and realize lives worth living”.
Masuda wrote that in the information society, The fundamental bond to bring and bind people together will be their common philosophy and goals in day-today life; it is the technological base of computer communications networks that will make this possible”. Masuda added that a new set of people would emerge in the information society, that of the "information voluntary community". The fundamental characteristic of such voluntary communities will e their freedom from ties to a local place, a completely new type of voluntary community".
There is a difference between living in a pre-built analog environment and developing personal and communal digital space by ones own contributed information. The location of data is omnipresent and decentralized, allowing data contributions from any location that can access the web via interface. In the Information Society, Masuda predicted that there would be a Fourth Stage, that of Individual Based Computerization. "At this stage there will be a personal terminal in each household," he wrote, and this personal terminal would be "used to solve day-to-day problems and determine the direction of one's future life".<Ibid. Pg. 39</ref> World Future Society. One might argue that humans are now in the Fifth or even Sixth stage, where everyone's personal terminal is in their hands and pockets, and increasingly embed ed into the world around them.
- Masuda, Yoneji. The Information Society is Post-Industrial Society. 1980. Pg. 161.
- Masuda, Yoneji. 1980. The Information Society and Post-Industrial Society. Washington: World Future Society. pp. vii–viii, 31–33.
- Ibid. Pg. 143.