The question in my mind is if these were actual internet newsgroup posts, or perhaps posts to a BBS like Wildcat. The old days of BBS was interesting. You would dial in and then access the server that way - only as many people as modems and phone lines as the server operator had could be online at a time.
And I remember paying for the service...the dudes operating the bbs's had to pay for those phone lines and modems.
Not paying like now, where you pay a flat fee for access to the 'Net, but back then, we paid per service to which we connected.
One I remember belonging to sold "credits" that you worked off. As I recall, it was a Flintstones themed bbs! Others were straight subscription. Some were live chat and others were message boards.
Later were services like Prodigy, GEnie, CompuServ. My first truly positive experience with live chat online in large groups was via a Commodore 64 and 128 only service called Quantum Link that I used at my neighbor's house. Quantum Link changed names to AOL in '91.
But this was all later than 1983. In '83, the only bbs's that I remember were university operated (there may well have been others, but not that I was connected to), and most of the discussion was along the lines of "hey, we're talking to each other with computers...ain't this COOL?"
Yeah, chicks dug us.