Meet for sex chatrooms
Many of the girls we have interviewed have told us how their interests in the Internet grew from the Web sites which promote pop music and fashion — at the time of the study this particularly involved sites that promoted boy bands, many of which contain links that lead them into chatrooms and related sites.
Involvement in it can become the most ‘real’ world in which you act, as Sherry Turtle puts it, quoting one of her informants, ‘RL’ (‘Real Life’). Currently the sites where these experiments with the presentation of self are most common are in textbased chatrooms, but chatrooms are themselves changing, being linked to ‘reality TV’, becoming hybridised with SMS (text messaging) and extending into other forms.It is not unknown for girls and boys, and even researchers to take on new selves.Sherry Turkle tells of her shock and surprise at entering a chatroom anonymously and encountering another Professor Turkle who was there doing research.This paper reports a small number of interviews with young people in Athens about their use of Internet chatrooms as a means of meeting people.In the last few years there has been a growing public concern about the dangers of socialising with strangers in chatrooms, but what do the users themselves think about the risks involved, and what strategies have they adopted to manage these risks?Like many of their generation, communicating through the new media is an integral part of their way of life.
By listening to their stories we can make the discussion more concrete and specific.
Some of the practices adopted by these young people are surprising and counter to the conventional advice given by official authorities.
The Internet — both a public good and a danger to children Experiments with identity Advancing the argument through case study Katerina’s story Rania’s story Stefanos’ story Dimitra’s story Fivos’ story Mary’s (Dafni’s mother) story Discussion The Internet and the young Drugs and technology Harm minimisation and Internet safety?
Chatrooms, in particular, combine the closeness and directness of the personal letter with the interactivity of the phone conversation, so sidestepping the contemporary obsession with personal appearance and liberating us from the constraints that this imposes.
Such conversations in the dark allow us to be reaffirmed in the images we have of ourselves rather than being constrained by our consciousness of all the shortcomings that others might see in us.
Here, using a small set of these interviews, which were made with students in a tutorial centre in Athens , we will describe how some young people use the Internet to make relationships with others, and particularly how young women and men use the net to meet and talk to one another.