Parents organized town meetings and protests, and wrote in to telephone companies demanding the charges be reversed.
You’re supposed to try to get a girl, not a football.”Welcome to the party line, a group phone call where teens went to meet strangers in the mid 1980s.
Think of it like a precursor to the internet chat room.
I play football.”“Are you the person who was talking about lacrosse last night?
”“Yeah, yeah, that was me.”“This isn’t the sports line.
Some chat lines attempted to appease parents by adding moderators who periodically reminded teens of the price per minute.“I got on at 1 in the morning, and I didn’t get off till 6 in the morning,” one girl said on Connections, according to the .“Your phone bills are going to be high,” warned another.“I don’t care,” she said. “Every guy on the line will say he drives a Porsche or some other exciting car.
“If there was no phone, I wouldn’t be living right now. There’s a lot of fantasy involved.”Fantasy is right.
Instead of throwing rice, the 1,000 callers who tuned in typed apostrophes.
“It was very beautiful,” said a party line owner, “and very profitable.”But by then, kids were bored and onto the next big thing.
You charge a per-minute fee and earn profit the longer each caller stays on the line.
With this type of business, you can take all the calls yourself or hire others to help you.
Around the country, kids dialed numbers like 550-TEEN for access to party lines, otherwise known as group bridging services.