In the early 80’s, way before the world wide web existed, the French government shipped a 0 terminal to every home with a phone line, and created a service that for decades ran alongside the internet. Producer Carla Green speaks to reporter Jean-Marc Manach, who, in the early 90’s, made a living posing as a woman in sex chat rooms on Minitel. ALEX: I think that you think that you…you’re like a way more popular and sociable and friendly than I am. It’s about the back-in-the-day internet in France, which is, in some ways, very similar to the back-in-the-day internet me and PJ experienced but, in a lot of ways, much weirder. CARLA GREEN: In 1982 France’s national telephone company – France Télécom – decided it was spending too much money printing phonebooks. It was an ungainly, clumsy piece of technology, just a little CRT monitor with a keyboard.
Our theme song and episode music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. The New York Times on the death of the Minitel Jean Marc Manach on The Minitel (in French) Squarespace Framebridge [THEME] ALEX GOLDMAN: So PJ, you are not…much younger than me, but younger enough that you come from like a different internet generation than I do. ALEX: When I started using the internet it was like ‘91, ‘92 and it was sort of before the world wide web. PJ: I felt like so lonely and also I was like “yeah, I understand that.” ALEX: Wait, once she said that, did you realize what was happening? PJ: Don’t you also feel like we both had kind of typical experiences early on. When you wanted to use it, you plugged it into the telephone line, meaning you couldn’t use the phone at the same time. Here’s a French newscast from the Minitel launch: NEWSCASTER: Now, we’re going to talk about something that’s relevant to you, or at least, will be relevant to you very soon, in your daily life.
If your teenager spends hours huddled over a computer, there is a good chance you have something to worry about internet addiction.
The first study of the impact of internet use on Australian teenagers found a third of respondents were "in the process of becoming psychologically addicted" and teenagers, on average, spent 13 hours a week on-line.
"This is despite the fact that a chat room is anonymous and all the weaknesses of human beings can be played out inside it without any restrictions, including cyber-sex and the circulation of pornography, humiliating or embarrassing photos and gossip," Dr Ali said.
Less than 7 per cent of boys reported any parental concern over their chat room participation, compared with almost 40 per cent of girls' parents.
How Can Civil Society Be More Involved in Reducing this Crime?
Trauma Effects on Children-Boys Can be Victims Too- Eliminating Gender Bias Viewing pornography and child abuse imagery by youth affects their future relationships and their development What to do When the Perpetrator is the Child’s Parent and the Buyer is a Teenager?
ALEX: They had four so four people could be on at the same time. Companies that provided these services would split the proceeds with France Telecom, and quickly everyone was making a ton of money.
BOTH: [laugh] ALEX: But the reason we’re talking about it is because we have a story this week from producer Carla Green. What it actually did was convince the French government to distribute a 0 computer to every French household with a phone number.
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