Before they went mainstream, personals were a way for same-sex couples to discreetly connect. Has the Internet really revolutionized dating? Or is hijacking tech for love and sex just what humans do? Hardly a week goes by without another new think piece about online dating either revolutionizing society or completely ruining our ability to have real relationships. 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.
Online Dating, a Short History
Online dating service - Wikipedia
In , barely a decade after the invention of the modern newspaper, the first matrimonial service was created. These services ran ads on behalf of single men and women who were desperate to find a good husband or wife. At the time, being single past 21 carried with it a deep stigma and turning to a matrimonial service, for either sex, was seen as an act of desperation. Still, many matches resulted from these services and many members of 18th-century society found love this way, even if it was something rarely talked about during its time.
The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now
Before you could show your interest with the ease of a right swipe, singles went to great lengths to meet their match. Technology and social trends have vastly shaped how we connect, when we connect, and who we connect with. Today, the stigma of meeting online has mostly dissipated. According to a study published in Statista, 30 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 currently use dating sites and apps.