But these hyperbolic pronouncements miss a deeper fact: At its core, "online dating" isn't something we just started doing 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.
Before the Internet, there were personal ads, and before that, lonely shepherds carved detailed works of art into tree bark to communicate their longing for human contact.
In the latest film in our “Signals” series, we meet the creators of Operation Match, as well as some of their customers, who are still married to the person the service found for them.
Hardly a week goes by without another new think piece about online dating either revolutionizing society or completely ruining our ability to have real relationships.
Every year, millions of people use services like e Harmony and hoping to find romance by answering a questionnaire and spending a little cash.
Psychedelia and New Journalism, civil rights and the Velvet Underground, JFK and the sexual revolution. Decades before Match.com, Ok Cupid, and Craigslist there existed a different sort of online interaction.
These machines could crunch the numbers on our personalities and spit out intimate matches.
Sites like Ok Cupid perform a similar service now, only with more pictures, interactivity, and complexity.
The last gift spawned something else entirely -- the 1960s introduced us to computer dating. The 1960s sport carried many of the same hazards and thrills as virtual matchmaking today.
Computers did exist in the '60s, in some form -- not personal computers, but computers nonetheless.