The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now
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Online dating didn’t really begin with the advent of the internet.
The need to communicate to other human beings for love, companionship and sex goes back centuries, with each new technology opening up further avenues and fresh ways to reach out.
With the advent of the modern newspaper in 1690, it took a mere five years for the first personal ads to appear in Britain.
One of the very first personal ads was from a 30-year-old man who was seeking young women with a good personal fortune.
LGBT communities took to the discreet personal ads, as homosexuality was banned in the UK till as late as 1967.
The 1700s saw the first ads with coded words, female names as an attempt to find companionship, forbidden by society.
Englishwoman Helen Morrison, who placed an innocent personal ad in 1727 in the local newspaper, was sent to an asylum for four weeks, as it was insane at the time for women to seek companionship.
Newsgroups and Bulletin Board Services (BBS) gave rise to the second wave of personal ads, with America Online (AOL), Prodigy and later Craigslist providing avenues to singles looking to find companionship.
Match.com was founded in 1997, and in a decade online dating became a top-grossing paid service on the internet.
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