Uses and users of ICT in the 20th Century

Users and creators of content
By Cécile Méadel

What can be said about users of information and communication technologies (ICT) that would hold true both for the various domestic technologies and for the past one hundred years? The 20th century was a period of constant innovation, with a surge in the number of tools, continuous transformations and ever-faster dissemination throughout the population. Beginning with a review of research about technology in France, this paper endeavours to understand how the individual and his/her social network are redefined through the use of technology. After presenting a few specific characteristics of users, the paper focuses on two parallel tensions that create controversy in the literature: between pioneering users and mainstream users, on the one hand, and between users on an individual or collective basis.

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