Dating websites and apps have become overwhelmingly popular over the past five years or so. It’s easier, it’s faster, and it’s safer than meeting people in person. But where did it all begin?

It all started way back in 1959 when Jim Harvey and Phil Fialer gave out a questionnaire to their students for a project in the “Happy Families Planning Services.” Although it was never commercialized, Harvey and Fialer were able to match 49 men and 49 women through this project.

After this, it took six years for anyone to attempt a similar test. Jeff Tarr and Vaughan Morrill used a questionnaire and an IBM 1401 computer to pair students based on how similar their answers were. Unlike the first project, this method was commercialized to the public, and people could pay three dollars to fill out a questionnaire and be entered into the system.

Christian Mingle-one of the many dating sites out there 
pc: Arden Cudahy

The next big step in digital dating was when dating websites were invented. The first dating website, www.Match.com, was established in 1995. This was only five years after the invention of the World Wide Web. Match.com was the most successful dating website at the time, having over 26.6 million people register by 2002.

There were also many tools that helped boost the popularity of digital dating. Although these pieces of software were not intended to be used for dating, they greatly facilitated the process. Examples of these include email, Skype, and Facebook. The invention of the iPhone in 2007 was also a huge jump for digital dating. The iPhone brought a plethora of dating apps with it, which made it extremely easy for people to browse peoples’ profiles in their free time. The most notable of these apps is Tinder that launched in 2012, which brings in over one billion swipes each and every day.

Dating questionnaires, websites, and apps have changed the way society views the dating process. Dating is a lot faster in recent years than ever before, and we have these technologies to thank for it.

 


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