Today Bill Dutton, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, gave a guest lecture in my "Living in the Information Age" class for Telecommunications students. He presented an inspiring model for thinking about how internet changes, and is changed by, society, based on his concept of 'reconfiguring access' (see model).
Dutton's main argument is that using new media like internet not only impacts what you know, but also how you know and who you know. Furthemore, he argued, results from the World Internet Project show how our participation, connectivity and sociability is not necessarily more or less in the information age - but that partipatory, connective and sociable people are generally more so now that they're online.
Good lecture, excellent professor, good questions. I also liked Dutton's notion that the digital divide - the way patterns of access to new media tend to reinforce existing social/economic inequalities in society - must be seen next to the notion of digital choice - as in the choice NOT to go online.