More insidiously than any other decade in our history, the 1980s have delivered unto us (and into our homes) the promises of past futurists: sit back, relax, and let your fingers do the walking across the universe of simulated experience. Quietly, almost magically, the middle-class home sweet home has been transformed into an environment that now doubles as office, schoolhouse, shopping mall, health club, printshop, restaurant, even electronic bordello. Television has been born again through television preachers, teachers, endless cable channels, and do-it-yourself satellite dishes. The lowly telephone has been redefined as the conduit for dial-a-porn, Domino’s Pizza, call-waiting and conference calls. Fax machines, PCs, VCRs, and CD players cast their spells on the most reluctant of technological inductees, while a mushrooming smorgasbord of byte-sized information sources continues to satisfy the appetites of hardened computer buffs.
Yuppies, once the most outwardly mobile of the upper middle class, have traded in their dancing shoes and one-night stands for sheep-skin slippers and safe sex. Slides and swingsets stand empty as couches crowd with kids playing high-resolution video games. The great, electronic indoors beckons all but a stalwart few into the home technology whirlwind....
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