I play football. Welcome to the party line, a group phone call where teens went to meet strangers in the mid s.
Think of it like a precursor to the internet chat room. Around the country, kids dialed s like TEEN for access to party lines, otherwise known as group bridging services. The operators of these lines charged participants on a per minute basis, for example, 95 cents for the first minute and 45 cents for each additional.
After the first party lines opened, the fad exploded. Marketers knew it, and advertised party lines during after school television programs and in teen magazines. Then parents saw the bills — their kids had charged hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars worth of calls in the space of weeks.
Parents organized town meetings and protests, and wrote in to telephone companies demanding the charges be reversed. Some chat lines attempted to appease parents by adding moderators who periodically reminded teens of the price per minute. Teens called in when they were bored, lonely, or simply wanted to experiment. What do you look like?
Fantasy is right. Some teens used the service to talk about sex, and later when moderators were added, used veiled language.
Chat line and chat rooms
Others defended the chats as preventative. Washington, D. Teens loved all of them. Others remember party lines as nothing more than rooms full of teens shouting to be heard. Cawl me on my home phone! And virtually anyone with a few hundred dollars lying around could buy up a localadvertise it, and if it caught on, start raking in cash. But that waswhen thousands of similar s flooded the market and teens were starting to lose interest. Widawsky went bankrupt a month later. Around the same time, party lines hooked up to computer modems and people could type to each other as well as talk.
One party line hosted a wedding, where the bride, groom, and officiant were at different terminals in Manhattan. Instead of throwing rice, the 1, callers who tuned in typed apostrophes.
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But by then, kids were bored and onto the next big thing. in. Crossing the party lines. Stephanie Buck Follow.
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