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The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now

Online Dating Today

  • It is ubiquitous and many social media sites are personal ads in disguise.
  • Specialized dating sites exist for every orientation, religion, place and race.
  • This also makes stumbling upon someone who exists outside the preference bubble harder than before.

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The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now

The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/timeline-online-dating-fr_b_9228040

huffpost.com

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Key Ideas

Online Dating: A History

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.

The First Personal Ads

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.

Forbidden Affairs

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.

The First Female Personal Ad

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.

Matrimonial Ads In The 1800s

  • Aristocrats caught on the personal ad trend and started broadcasting their often bizarre desires to the general public.
  • The matrimonial ad, where a potential husband or wife was sought, was looked down upon initially, but as specific magazines and periodicals focusing on matrimony gained traction, the normalization of the personal ad seeking bride or groom started happening.
  • Looking at the popularity of the personal ad, making scam artists started preying on the vulnerability of the people who were seeking companionship and love.

Matrimonial Ads In The 1900s

  • The rural parts of America started making use of personal ads for matrimony.
  • Lonely soldiers of WWI sought pen pals using these ads, giving rise to the friendship ads, the whole personal ads trend went mainstream.
  • The ‘Lonely Hearts’ trend invited prosecution from the British police, due to its suspicious nature.
  • The internet gave rise to online dating with the world’s first computer date-matching service invented in 1965, where for $3 one could find a match by answering a questionnaire.

Online Matrimonials and The Second Wave of Personal Ads

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.

Online Dating Today

  • It is ubiquitous and many social media sites are personal ads in disguise.
  • Specialized dating sites exist for every orientation, religion, place and race.
  • This also makes stumbling upon someone who exists outside the preference bubble harder than before.

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Online Relationships Don’t Usually Last
  • Over one-third of online dating sites users have never actually gone on a date with someone they met online
  • Relationships that start online are 28% more likely to end in their first year than relationships where the couples first met face-to-face.
  • Couples who met online are nearly three times as likely to get divorced as couples that met face-to-face.

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Data On Online Dating
  • 40% of Americans use online dating as a way to meet new people.
  • 23% of Americans still think using online dating sites is desperate.
Data On Online Daters
  • 53% of Americans lie in their profiles. Women tend to post younger photos of themselves and claim to be thinner, while men tend to lie about their careers.
  • Even on apps known as being for "hook up", most females are looking for a genuine match and not a fling.
  • Two-thirds of online daters have gone out with someone they were matched with.
  • One-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date. 
Data On Relationships Started Online
  • Relationships that begin online are nearly 30% more likely to break down than ones where couples met face-to-face first.
  • 20% of committed relationships began online.
  • Marriages from online couples are three times as likely to end in divorce.
  • 17% of couples that were married in the last year met on a dating website. 

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Plato on love

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.

The industrial age changed romance

For most of human history, there was no time for romance. Marriages were arranged by families and were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families.

It wasn’t until the industrial age that things began to change. They didn't have to rely so heavily on family connections any more. Consequently, the economic and political components of marriage ceased to make sense.

"Happily ever after" ideal

The economic realities of the 19th century mixed with the idea from the Enlightenment about the pursuit of happiness. The result was the Age of Romanticism.

People became economically independent and love (or emotions) became valued in society. These ideals of love have been heavily promoted and marketed during the 20th century.

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Podcasts History
  • In the summer of 2004, Adam Curry decided to program and develop the first podcatcher application using Apple scripts. The program was able to read through the RSS and download the audio. It would use the iTunes API to add the files to the playlist.
  • George W. Bush became the first President of America to create a podcast when the RSS 2.0 feed was uploaded on the White House website.
  • As more people became aware of the meaning of podcasting, the numbers continued to grow. In 2015, there were 100,000,000 searches from people across the globe.
  • One year after the founding of the first podcast directory, Apple joined the ranks by setting up its directory to iTunes. Steve Jobs referenced podcasts to becoming the future of audio.
  • The entry of Apple into the market increased the accessibility of podcasts all over the world.
Podcasts: The Introduction of Smart Devices

The name podcasts were the combination of 'iPod' and 'broadcast.' The name is the result of the process of getting music into your iPod.

At first, you had to download music or audio to your computer, then move it to your iPod. The iPod needed an internet connection to function. But technology today is not the same. The development in iPhones and 4G network strength makes it easier to stream and listen to podcasts.

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The advantage of being in a relationship 

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Internet And Marriage

At least one-third of all marriages in the U. S. are now between partners who met online and researchers say online meeting-based marriages happen more quickly after the first date.

The Non-Divisive Effect

Before the Internet, dating was mostly restricted by one’s social and geographical limitations with friends of friends being the most common method of introduction. The Internet pairs couples that wouldn’t even meet otherwise.

Research also indicates that you're more likely to date someone from a different race if you're dating online, by a factor of about 7 percent. 

Combating Social Stratification

There's a troubling trend towards exclusive, private membership-based dating apps that only allow very rich or very popular people, essentially creating a dating bubble that socially isolates people by class.

By using less restrictive apps we have the widest possible pools of potential dates, rather than aspiring to something more exclusive, we're keeping ourselves open to more random love connections that cut across lines of race and class and everything else that divides us. We're doing our part to keep society more open, less stratified. 

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  • A casual relationship is now preferred to a committed one.
  • Sex is now a field for marketers to provide products and services.
  • It takes considerably less time, effort and risk for one to get sexual gratification through online dating or porn.
Marriage is now an Option

Youngsters are now wary of a life-long relationship and consider it as an option.

  • One-third of people who are in their twenties may never marry.
  • The increase of freedom to romance has changed the definition of romance.

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The 2016 Debacle

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