Has internet dating made it easier to find love, or just made us feel lonelier?by Mary Fitzgerald / January 23, 2013 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2013 issue of Prospect Magazine
This year marks the 30th anniversary of online romance, sort of. The first couple to meet online and subsequently marry were brought together by an early incarnation of the web—the Computer Science Network (CSNET)—in 1983. Three decades later, internet dating is now the second most common way of starting a relationship, after meeting through friends. The industry takes in an estimated £2.5bn worldwide each year, and Brits are the most enthusiastic online daters in Europe: last year over 9m of us logged on to find a partner.
My own online dating story goes like this. Several years ago I broke up with someone. Soon after, my friend Alice created a profile for me on a dating website. For months, the experience only fortified my misery. Since when did the whole world start talking in football clichés? When did “chilling out with the Sunday papers” become a hobby?