The history of online dating

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Men were asked to rank drawings of women’s hair styles: a back-combed updo, a Patty Duke bob.

Before e Harmony and Plenty of Fish, there were other methods of digital dating being practiced by hopeful singles.

Since its founding in 1989, the World Wide Web has touched the lives of billions of people around the world and fundamentally changed how we connect with others, the nature of our work, how we discover and share news and new ideas, how we entertain ourselves and how communities form and function.

The timeline below is the beginning of an effort to capture both the major milestones and small moments that have shaped the Web since 1989.

Online dating has come along way since ‘You’ve Got Mail’, the 1998 movie in which two business rivals fall in love over the Internet.

This panel provided a critical perspective on the history and future of the Internet’s role in meeting new people, dating, and developing lasting relationships, such as through partnerships and marriage.

Check out this interactive timeline to find out how folks dated before the emergence of today's modern online dating services.

When the first dating website, Match.com, (review at that link) was created in 1995 it received criticisms and negative reviews from a wide range of people.

I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.I checked the website Eater for its Heat Map, which includes new, tasty restaurants in the city. The stunning fact remained: it was quicker for my dad to find a wife than it is for me to decide where to eat dinner.This kind of rigor goes into a lot of my decisionmaking.The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.He quickly deduced that she was the appropriate height (finally! First I texted four friends who travel and eat out a lot and whose judgment I trust. Finally I made my selection: Il Corvo, an Italian place that sounded amazing. (It only served lunch.) At that point I had run out of time because I had a show to do, so I ended up making a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich on the bus.

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