The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner

Brunner's 1975 dystopian hacker fiction features a centralized phone-network-based Internet with worms that monitor and defend resources (like online prediction markets). While Brunner gets a bit arty with the interleaved chronology and philosophy, I liked his story of a kid who escaped from a poor+smart kid conscription facility into the real world by creating new online identities for himself, until he runs into a girl and needs to figure out whether running makes any more sense.

So don't dismiss the computer as a new type of fetters. Think of it rationally, as the most liberating device ever invented, the only tool capable of serving the multifarious needs of modern man.

Think of it, for a change, as him. For example, think of the friendly mailman who makes certain your letters reach you no matter how frequently you move or over what vast distances. Think of the loyal secretary who always pays your bills when they come due, regardless of what distractions may be on your mind. Think of the family doctor who's on hand at the hospital when you fall sick, with your entire medical history in focus to guide the unknown specialist. Or if you want to be less personal and more social, think of computers as the cure for the monotony of primitive mass-production methods. As long ago as the sixties of last century it became economic to turn out a hundred items in succession from an assembly line, of which each differed subtly from the others. It cost the salary of an extra programmer and -- naturally -- a computer to handle the task ... but everyone was using computers anyhow, and their capacity was so colossal the additional data didn't signify.
-- In The Beginning Was The Herd
It was also not difficult to forecast that no matter how well endowed they were with material resources those countries where the Industrial Revolution arrived late would change proportionately more slowly. After all, the rich get richer and the poor get children. Which is okay as long as many of them starve in infancy.
-- A Load Of Crystal Balls