Media Environments Suppose that by the twenty-first century every human on earth who has a wristmounted communications device can be in contact with any other human via a satellite communications network; that home television has over 100 channels, many of them interactive; that most home appliances are programmable or control­ lable by our voice; that most mail is sent electronically; that small discs for our home players can hold many thousands of pages of textual information; that an electronic network makes available a university education for anyone willing to pursue it; and that we can join our communities for work, play, education, health care, or inspiration electronically? What then?—Frederick Williams1 On the Saturday afternoon of the future while the children play Star Wars on the screen, the head of the household may be immersed in sport. He watches one game on the big screen while a printer at his side spatters news of other games. With his keyboard he can request the results of other games to be displayed on the screen. He can freeze a frame of the televised play at any moment and examine it.—James Martin2 However, the most popular goodies in this high-tech community are electronic consumer products: personal computers, video recorders, home communication systems, video games.—Everett M. Rogers and Judith Larson3

How do we adapt our private lives to the information society? We have cho­ sen to rephrase the more frequently asked question that asks how people will experience leisure in the information society. Leisure is a problematic notion. It is often equated with private life and posed as the opposite of work, which is often equated with public life. But as the information society introduces forms of work that take place in the home, the familiar dichotomy creates a shallow analysis, at once oversimplifying the interplay of emerging tenden­ cies. In this chapter we explore the fuzzy boundaries experienced by individu­ als as they accommodate the private sphere to the information society.