The personals sections of those 18th century newspapers were also useful for gay men and women to meet lovers, back when homosexuality was still illegal (it remained so in the UK until 1967).Personal ads went mainstream in the early 20th century, with expectations at a much lower level than their earlier incarnations.If a match resulted, it is unlikely that you boasted the fact to your friends, Cocks said."You probably wouldn't talk about it if you were very respectable," he said.Many of the postings were simply calls for friends or pen pals, becoming especially popular among single servicemen, called "lonely soldiers," during World War I.
Taboo or not, the practice certainly isn't new.
In the early 90's AOL introduced chat rooms where people could manage to do both.
People flocked to explore the newest way to flirt, fantasize, and play, cyber style.
You could talk about anything, with anyone, anywhere.
Anonymity allowed people to be themselves or a creative version thereof.