But these hyperbolic pronouncements miss a deeper fact: At its core, "online dating" isn't something we just started doing 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.
Before the Internet, there were personal ads, and before that, lonely shepherds carved detailed works of art into tree bark to communicate their longing for human contact.
Used a questionnaire and an IBM 1401 to match students. "By the fall of sixty-five, six months after the launch, some ninety thousand Operation Match questionnaires had been received, amounting to $270,000 in gross profits, about $1.8 million in today's dollars."Eros (Contact Inc.) launches. "Everybody was letting it all hang out in other ways," said Raymond Shapiro, a business manager for the New York Review of Books, "so suddenly it was okay to display oneself in print.
It was very important to be 'self-aware.' So you'd get ads like: 'Astrologer, 27, psychology student, desires to establish non-superficial friendship with sensitive, choicelessly aware persons who are non-self-oriented, deep, and wish to unearth real, personness relationships.' " The service achieved some notability, but it never overcame stigma.
Many of the postings were simply calls for friends or pen pals.
These kinds of ads were especially fashionable among lonely soldiers during World War I.
#Shamelessly Seeking Sugar Momma...) 1700s: Personal Ads for Homosexual Safety Personal ads were one of the only ways for the gay and lesbian communities to meet discreetly and safely at this time.
Less-Than-Fun fact: homosexuality was outlawed and punishable by death in the UK by wife-murderer Henry VIII and continued to be illegal until 1967. A., anyone accused of being a "sodomite" doing "buggery" was also legally sentenced to death as of 1776.) Coded words, female names and other signals in personals were channels to privately expressing vulnerability and find companionship that society forbade.
Today some 33 years later Elwyn Jones has produced his own online contact service which also uses a similar but much more comprehensive system.
This is found at https:// Matchmaker Electronic Pen-Pal Network launches.
A bulletin board system for romance started by Jon Boede and Scott Smith.
Matchmaker grew to 14 local BBSs throughout the US.
1695: The First Personal Ads According to history professor H. Cocks (seriously --The Best Name Ever for an academic) personal ads began as a way to help British bachelors find eligible wives.