Before digital dating, there was IRL. Eyes meet in a crowded room, ads of lonely hearts in the newspaper, even in fact get closer to someone you would like to ask them out on a date.
But for many of us, that all changed with the rise of online dating. And that has evolved even further over the past 14 months – ‘having a drink’ has become a socially distant stroll in the park, while Zoom dates, something we had previously avoided, are the new normal.
From its inception in the 60s to today, we trace the history of digital dating.
1. The beginning
The first computer-based dating service https://www.livecamlink.com/dating/, Operation Match, was designed in 1965 by two Harvard students. Operation Match asked singles to return a 150-question survey by mail, answering questions about their ideal partner and perfect dates. Once received, the responses were run on a computer to assign six potential love matches to the eligible young date, to which they would receive details three weeks later.
Not quite the speed we are used to today …
2. The love of laptops
30 years later, Internet technology had advanced considerably. The 90s saw the introduction of online dating sites, where those looking for relationships can find a partner without getting out of their pajamas. While still requiring a lengthy application process, these sites could connect people much faster than a correspondence matchmaking service.
Back in the day, bulky computer monitors and snap-on keyboards were the norm. But fortunately, today’s technology, like the Logitech Keyboard K380 or M350 mouse, has been improved to make sure your flanter flows smoothly. These ultra-slim accessories connect via Bluetooth to your laptop, phone or tablet, are small enough to carry in your purse, and quiet enough to help you find love without disturbing anyone around you.
3. There is an app for it
In the early 2000s, the screens got smaller and we started looking for love in the palms of our hands. Dating apps have made their debut, promising to find a mate in just a few clicks, and dedicated apps for dog lovers, bearded men, religious daters and more. Whatever your preference, there is literally an app for it.
Slipping for a date has become our essential, as a relationship expert Sarah Louise Ryan Explain. “There are over 1,400 dating apps and sites in the UK, and the online dating industry is worth almost £ 6.5 billion. Globally, online daters number nearly 300 million, ”she says.
The routine is very familiar: scroll, slide, chat, arrange a meeting for a first date. But what happened when the pandemic struck and love locked in?
4. Pandemic break
When the government announced a nationwide lockdown, it looked like the romance might have to be put on hold for the foreseeable future. But in the past 14 months things have had to change.
Enter the video. The happn dating app reports that more than half of its 3.1 million UK singles use the video date feature for a first date, checking out that initial chemistry before committing to a socially distant Tesco date.
The key to a great video meeting? The kit. Settling in with the perfect technology means all you have to worry about is keeping the conversation going. A Logitech StreamCam webcam will ensure your date is pixel perfect, with the ability to tilt, pan, or mount the camera on a tripod to get the best angle.
You might even get a more accurate picture of your potential friend on a video date, says the therapist and sex educator. Dr Katherine Hertlein. “The lack of personal nuance and body language you would have on a face-to-face date may mean that you are not swayed by someone’s charm and charisma,” she says.
5. The future
After the pandemic, what’s the next step for online dating? It seems that many of us are still hoping to find that strong connection. Nearly 50% of Britons say the lockdown made them realize they want to find love, and many feel the pandemic has cost them a year of searching for The One.
Like Clara Torvisco Marquez, Marketing Manager at Logitech, adds: “Dating during the pandemic has been incredibly difficult. Even though we are gradually getting back to normal, there are still many people clicking and logging in online. “
“The death potential of the hookup culture is real, because people want connectivity,” says Sarah Louise Ryan. “People will take what they want seriously and seek long-term relationships because they have realized the fragility of life.”
So will we ditch pixels for ads once the world opens up again? The answer can be a bit of both. Marine Ravinet, trends manager at happn, says: “73% of singles think that going out virtually early will help them build strong bonds for the future.”
Looks like virtual dating isn’t going anywhere soon.
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