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This doesn’t mean that online dating has lost all of its stigma.In some circles meeting a boyfriend/girlfriend or even a spouse online is viewed as a sign of desperation. As more and more people meet their significant others online, the stigma against it is deteriorating.The end result is that, according to Online Dating Magazine, nearly 20 million people visit at least one online dating site every month and 120,000 marriages every year take place, at least in part, due to online dating.In 2002, Wired Magazine predicted that, “Twenty years from now, the idea that someone looking for love won’t look for it online will be silly, akin to skipping the card catalog to instead wander the stacks because ‘the right books are found only by accident.'” The prediction does not seem to be that far off as it is exactly where we are heading with both online dating and social networking.Not only does the Web allow us to find people in our area, but it allows us to see, hear learn a great deal about them.With images, audio and databases of personal data, the Web is not just a new way to meet others, but an incredibly efficient one.Currently the market has been segmented out to an ever larger number of sites focused on an ever-smaller niche audiences.Currently, there are sites for virtually every city, every sexual orientation, every desired relationship, every religion, every race and almost every hobby.
But despite this wave of social networking, which included the founding of Facebook in 2004, online dating has continued to thrive.
Because of this, even before the Web became widely used, the Internet had a robust, if technically limited, dating culture.
The first major Internet dating Web site is widely held to be the combination of and match.com, which were both registered by the same person in 19 respectively.
Though there were other dating sites at the time, most focused on international dating and had more in common with “mail order bride” services than the dating sites we know today. By 1996 there were 16 dating Web sites listed in Yahoo!
, which was a directory at the time, and other powerhouses such as and Oneand had already started up.